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

S&P 500 Dow muted as rising COVID-19 cases dent recovery hopes

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

The Nasdaq was little changed.

Apple said it's reclosing a total of 11 stores in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Cruise companies Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line all lost more than 5 per cent following an announcement from the Cruise Line International Association trade group saying it was voluntarily extending a suspension of operations through Sept 15, beyond the July 24 restriction from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. stocks were mixed on Friday with the Dow and S&P 500 index in the red and the Nasdaq closing in the black.

Trading volume is expected to spike, especially during the opening and close of Friday's session on account of "quadruple witching", as investors unwind interests in futures and options contracts prior to expiration.

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"COVID cases have been spiking higher in certain U.S. states ...the issue is becoming too much for the market to ignore", Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli said in a note.

Stocks benefiting from the economy reopening were also under pressure following Apple's announcement.

The S&P 500 and the Dow edged lower in choppy trading on Wednesday as a record rise in coronavirus cases in six U.S. states dented sentiment following a three-day rally on hopes of a swift recovery from a coronavirus-driven downturn.

Initial jobless claims edged down only slightly to 1.51 million from an upwardly-revised 1.57 million the previous week, while continuing claims - which are reported with a one-week lag but which are considered a more accurate measure of labor market dynamics - stayed stuck above the 20 million mark, defying expectations that they would fall below it for the first time since April. The report eased concerns about U.S. United Airlines slid 6.9% and Delta dropped 4.1%. The U.S. withdrew from an worldwide process to devise a new framework for taxing multinationals earlier in the week, something that may hasten the imposition of taxes on digital services by the big European economies. Those gains came after a record surge in USA retail sales and the Federal Reserve announcing it will buy individual corporate bonds.

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