Wall Street ends sharply lower

The sharp surge in COVID-19 infections and concerns about the timeline of a vaccine rollout sparked a sell-off on Wall Street Thursday. That extinguished the euphoria over positive vaccine trial data that had lifted economically-sensitive cyclical stocks earlier this week. Investors sold stocks across the board, especially cyclicals like financial and industrial stocks.

Boeing and Goldman Sachs helped drag the Dow 1% lower. The S&P 500 also shed 1%. The Nasdaq declined two-thirds percent.

National Securities chief market strategist Art Hogan says market attention has turned away from the giddiness over vaccine trials and the political gridlock- something investors like - to focus on one thing: the coronavirus.

“The news hasn’t been good for a couple of weeks, and it’s getting worse right now. The market’s looking at this and saying, ‘New York City shut some things down. Other cities around the country might be doing that until these numbers get better.’”

Investors sought safety in bonds and gold. Treasury yields fell after a tweet from Bloomberg saying the Trump administration was backing away from fiscal stimulus talks.

Shares of airlines fell. Delta and Southwest cautioned that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases may negatively impact travel over the winter holidays.

After the market’s close, shares of Disney rose. The Mouse House’s quarterly revenue fell by more than a fifth, but it was smaller than analysts had expected.