Dow drops 500 points as Walgreens falls, Apple gives up gain

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, giving back some of their weekly gains, amid renewed concerns over the coronavirus and its impact on the economy. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 400 points, or more than 1%. The S&P 500 slid 1.2%. The Nasdaq Composite traded 0.6% lower, erasing an earlier gain that put it on track for another record close. 

Stocks hit their lows of the day after Florida reported a record in coronavirus-related hospitalizations. The state also reported a record spike in Covid deaths.

Walgreens was the biggest laggard in the Dow, dropping 9% on weaker-than-expected earnings for the previous quarter. Walgreens also suspended a share repurchase program. Apple shares traded 0.2% lower, giving up an earlier gain. 

Shares of companies that would benefit from the economy reopening struggled. United Airlines, Delta and American all fell more than 4%. Carnival Corp dropped 3.7% and Royal Caribbean slid 5.3%. Kohl’s declined by 5.8%.

The major averages started the day higher as shares of major tech companies rose broadly. These stocks have outperformed this week as investors grow concerned the recent global coronavirus spikes could prolong the current economic downturn and force people to stay home for longer.

“A lot of these names are benefiting from the at-home play,” said Douglas Busch, founder of ChartSmarter. Busch noted that, from a technical perspective, he’d like to see consolidation in some of the major tech stocks but thinks they have further upside moving forward.

More than 3 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. alone, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, over 12 million cases have been confirmed.

Jobless claims rise less than expected

Wall Street was coming off of solid gains Wednesday, with the major indexes brushing off a record daily increase in new U.S. Covid-19 cases. Big Tech continued to carry the broader market higher on during regular trading and again allowed the Nasdaq Composite to outpace the S&P 500 and Dow industrials.

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