US stocks fall from record heights as virus concerns persist
trader nyse worried chart

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  • US stocks slid from record highs on Tuesday amid continued investor concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of additional fiscal stimulus.
  • Daily COVID-19 cases are rising in the US and around the globe, and lockdown restrictions are intensifying in states like California and Michigan.
  • Another round of fiscal stimulus seems unlikely for now, especially after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Democrats’ $3.4 trillion proposal was “unserious.”
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks closed lower on Tuesday after reaching record highs on Monday as investor concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic lingered.

Despite good news from Moderna and Pfizer on the vaccine front, daily COVID-19 cases are rising, and a widely available vaccine is still months away.

And while some investors are hoping for another fiscal stimulus bill from Congress, they shouldn’t hold their breath; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday called the Democrats’ $3.4 trillion stimulus proposal “unserious.”

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Tuesday:

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Technology stocks, which underperformed value stocks on Monday, got a boost in early trades on Tuesday, driven in part by a move higher in shares of Tesla and Amazon.

Tesla jumped on Tuesday after the S&P 500 Index Committee said it would add the electric-car manufacturer to its index. The move is likely to boost demand for shares of Tesla, as trillions of dollars are indexed and benchmarked to the S&P 500.

Amazon climbed after it announced the launch of a digital pharmacy, setting itself up to directly compete with retail pharmacy chains like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. An analyst from D.A. Davidson said Amazon’s foray into the pharmacy sector could represent a trillion-dollar opportunity for the e-commerce giant.

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Merck, Pfizer, and AbbVie got a boost on Tuesday after quarterly filings showed that Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway bought billions of dollars’ worth of shares in the pharmaceutical companies.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 0.9%, to $41.69 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, traded in the other direction — it slid 1.7%, to $43.08 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold slipped on Tuesday, decreasing as much as 0.6%, to $1,877 per ounce.

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