Worries about the downside of reopening the economy too soon are weighing on markets, and Wall Street fell Tuesday to its biggest loss since the start of the month. The S&P 500 dropped 2.1% after spending much of the day drifting between small gains and losses, as investors debate whether the lifting of lockdowns across US states and the world will drive an economic rebound or just more coronavirus infections, the AP reports. The S&P 500 fell 60.20 points to 2,870.12, with the losses accelerating sharply in the last hour of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 457.21 points, or 1.9%, to 23,764.78, and the Nasdaq composite lost 189.79, or 2.1%, to 9,002.55.
Expectations that growth will resume following the reopenings have helped drive the S&P 500 up 28% since late March. But South Korea and other countries further ahead in removing restrictions have also seen small but notable increases in infections recently. That’s raising worries about possible second waves of infections. “What we’re dealing with, both today and the last couple of weeks, is the optimism behind the reopening and asking: Are we going to be reopening too soon?” says Bill Northey, senior investment director at US Bank Wealth Management. ”We’re in an unknowable scenario at this point in time.” (Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress Tuesday that reopening too early would be risky.)