NEW YORK, New York - Uncertainty over the future predominance of the coronavirus disease Covid-19 gave Wall Street a panic attack towards the close Tuesday. Major gains had been made earlier, but as the reality of Covid-19 remaining, and perhaps becoming a bigger issue became more mainstream, sellers began to take control.
"It's a little bit of a pullback after a significant five-day move in the market coupled with the normal concerns about the virus," Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Baird in Milwaukee told CNBC Tuesday.
At the close of trading Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 396.85 points, or 1.51%, at 25,890.18.
The Standard and Poor's 500 dipped 34.4 points, or 1.08%, to 3,145.32.
The Nasdaq Compositefell 89.76 points, or 0.86%, to 10,343.89.
"It's healthy to have some pullbacks. Even a more dramatic pullback would be good, just because I think there's a lot of uncertainty and it's kind of advanced on a wall of worry here," Alan Lancz, president, Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm, based in Toledo, Ohio told the Reuters Thomson news agency Tuesday.
"There's probably more profit-taking and volatility in store on the down side after the incredible rebound from the March lows," he added.
The U.S. dollar was mixed Tuesday. The euro, after an early burst above 1.1300 in Asia, had settled back to 1.1274 around the New York close Tuesday.
The British pound was in demand, rising strongly to 1.2545. The Japanese yen edged up to 107.54. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9425.
The commodity currencies were all a bit weaker. The Canadian dollar slid to 1.3604. The Australian dollar eased to 0.6947, while the New Zealand dollar dipped to 0.6548.
In London, the FTSE 100 dropped 1.53%. European bourses were less ruffled, with the German Dax sliding 0.92%, and the Paris-based CAC 40 shedding 0.74%.
Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday with the Shanghai Composite gaining 12.46 points or 0.37% gain to 3,345.34.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was down 99.75 points or 0.44% to close at 22,614.69.
The Australian All Ordinaries was flat after a decision by the Victorian government to put its capital city Melbourne back into lockdown for 6 weeks. Premier Daniel Andrews said the state had no choice as 191 new cases were reported overnight.
The All Ords gained just 0.80 of a point or 0.01% to 6,126.70.