Dow, S&P 500 give up early gains amid lockdown fears

Dec. 14 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell at the end of trading Monday as concerns over the impacts of COVID-19 dampened optimism surrounding the distribution of vaccines.

The Dow closed down 184.82 points, or 0.62%, after gaining 36 points for an improvement of more than 0.1% following the opening bell. The S&P 500 dropped 0.44% after it improved nearly 0.3% at the start of the day.

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The Nasdaq finished Monday up 0.5% after having been up a little more than 1% in earlier trading.

However, stocks gave up gains as the United States surpassed 300,000 deaths related to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Markets also reacted to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warning that a total lockdown may be necessary before a vaccine can make an impact.

“It’s not just a shot in the medical sense, it’s a shot of hope, but we have to keep fighting this virus in the meantime,” he said.

The Dow initially jumped about 200 points, or 0.7%, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq following news of the first doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine being distributed in the United States on Monday.

“With the vaccine now shipping, we expect a greater reaction from the broader market over the potential return to normal,” Bank of America equity strategists said. “We caution much work remains to vaccinate the population and don’t expect to see major progress until after mid-’21.”