Stocks slip as Apple store closures spark economy revival worries

Wall Street closes down as late buying fails to overcome COVID concerns

The S&P 500 and the Dow edged higher in choppy trading on Wednesday as hopes of a swift recovery from a coronavirus-driven downturn were dented by fears of a record rise in coronavirus cases in six US states.

Still, investors have been sensitive to any indications of a second wave of infections, out of fear that it could lead to new lockdowns, reversing the trend toward reopening the US economy that has lifted the stock market since it bottomed out in March.

The Dow closed 170.37 points lower on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak as market participants continued to watch the situation in the United States with some concern.

The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks lost 8.44 points, or 0.6%, to 1,418.63. The Dow was up 1% for the week and the Nasdaq boasted a gain of 3.7%.

The S&P 500 is up 74.03 points, or 2.4%.

Despite Texas, California, Arizona and Florida all reporting their biggest one-day increases in Covid-19 case numbers, shares in companies tied to the reopening of the USA economy like United Airlines and Kohl's were both higher at the open.

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The Nasdaq Composite was up 75.12 points, or 0.76%, at 9,970.99 with Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and providing the biggest boost.

Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. dropped after the world's largest movie theatre operator announced that it would begin reopening theatres but reversed its early decision to allow customers not to wear face masks. Investors have cheered signs that the USA economy is reopening, allowing people to return to work and business activity to pick up. Those gains came after a record surge in US retail sales and the Federal Reserve announcing it will buy individual corporate bonds. The company previously said it would defer to local government policy. The poor performance of crude oil prices seems to be weighing on energy shares.

The Russell 2000 is up 39.39 points, or 2.8%.

Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma were among the states that saw a record increase in new coronavirus infections on Tuesday as states pushed ahead with reopening.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note settled at 0.696%, up from 0.693% Thursday.

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