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It's Been a Year Since Markets' Free-Fall Ended

Indexes dipped on anniversary of COVID-era low
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 23, 2021 3:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – Stocks closed broadly lower on Tuesday and gave back nearly all of their gains from a day earlier as technology, industrial, and bank stocks fell. The S&P 500 fell 30.07 points, or 0.8%, to 3,910.52. Technology stocks were the biggest drag on the market and pushed the Nasdaq 149.85 points lower, or 1.1%, to 13,227.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 308.05 points, or 0.9% to 32,423.15. Stocks of smaller companies, which have far outpaced the rest of the market this year, fell even more, the AP reports. The Russell 2000 index gave back 3.6%. Industrial and health care companies also accounted for a good part of the selling. Energy stocks helped drag down the market too as oil prices fell.

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Bond yields also declined. That weighed on banks and other financial companies which look to yields as a benchmark for the interest rates they charge on mortgages and other loans. The S&P 500 hit a pandemic-era low exactly one year ago, on March 23, 2020, having dropped nearly 34% in about a month. That wiped out three years’ worth of gains. The index wound up roaring back in the coming months, and recovered all its losses by August. Through Monday, it had surged 76% from that low point. AstraZeneca fell 3.5% Tuesday after US authorities said that the drug company's COVID-19 vaccination trial data contained "incomplete" information, which may impact its efficacy. AstraZeneca's vaccine is being primarily used in Europe. (Read more stock market stories.)

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