U.S. stocks edged lower in early trading Tuesday as investors worry that rising virus cases will delay full economic recovery. At the same time, the world waits for a wide distribution of a vaccine.
The S&P 500 fell 0.1% in another slight pullback from the record high it set on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points, or less than 0.1%, to 30,083 as of 10:13 a.m. Eastern time. The Nasdaq fell 0.2%.
The U.K. became the first Western country to start a mass vaccination program after British regulators last week authorized the use of a COVID-19 shot developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. In the U.S., a wide distribution of any vaccine is likely months away. Meanwhile, governments worldwide have been tightening restrictions on businesses to stem the latest surge in cases.
Investors are also keeping a close eye on Washington. Congress is still stuck in a partisan stalemate over the size and scope of any additional aid to help cushion the financial impact to people and businesses. The economy has been showing signs of a stalled recovery as the virus surge broadens nationally, including slower job growth in the U.S. last month.
A mix of communications and technology stocks led the decline. Companies that rely on direct consumer spending and those that would greatly benefit from a fuller economic reopening also fell.
Energy and industrial companies managed small gains. Shop-from-home clothing seller Stitch Fix soared 41.8% after reporting a surprise profit in its latest quarter.
Treasury yields fell slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 0.90% from 0.91% late Monday. Crude oil prices were also marginally lower.
European markets were also slipping. France’s CAC 40 was down 0.1%, Germany’s DAX lost 0.2%, and the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.1%. Asian markets also declined.