U.S. equity markets tumbled Thursday after Dr. Anthony Fauci dashed hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine was coming soon, contradicting documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Fauci told CNN a vaccine was unlikely to be ready by the end of October. In a separate interview with NBC News' "Today," Fauci said a vaccine was likely by the end of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 700 points, or 2.6%, with Microsoft leading the decline.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, which finished in record territory on Wednesday, were down 3.4% and 4.8%, respectively. Apple and Amazon were among the hardest hit names.
Tesla continued its drop as Elon Musk's electric-vehicle maker slipped into correction territory, falling for a third straight day after announcing a $5 billion share sale. The stock began trading at its split-adjusted price on Monday.
On the economic front, the news was positive after the U.S. labor market continues to show signs of incremental improvement. Initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 29 totaled 881,000, down from a revised 1.011 million the week prior. Continuing claims, meanwhile, fell to 13.254 million in the week ended Aug. 22, down from a revised 14.492 the week prior. Both numbers were better than expected.
Elsewhere, Novavax Inc. announced positive early-stage data for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. NanoViricides Inc. investors await an update from the company on its COVID-19 drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday to be prepared for a vaccine by Nov. 1.
Meanwhile, Costco Wholesale Corp. said sales at stores open at least 12 months rose 13.1% from a year ago, outpacing the 10.7% gain that analysts were anticipating. Digital sales were up 102%.
Looking at earnings, Campbell Soup Co. reported quarterly results that beat on both the top and bottom lines amid “unprecedented demand” for its food and beverages.
PVH Corp., which operates Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, reported a surprise profit amid strong online demand for comfortable clothing.
Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 48 cents to $41.03 per barrel while gold gained $3.90 to $1,948.60 an ounce.
U.S. Treasurys ticked higher, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 1 basis point to 0.641%.
Markets were trading higher across Europe with France’s CAC up 1.51%, Germany’s DAX higher by 0.83% and Britain’s FTSE gaining 0.37%.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei outperformed, ending up 0.94%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.45% and 0.58%, respectively.