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As on 21-Nov-2020  11:42

Wall Street drops as surging COVID-19 cases offset vaccine hopes

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219.95 points, or 0.75%, to 29,263.28, the S&P 500 lost 24.22 points, or 0.68%, to 3,557.65 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 49.74 points, or 0.42%, to 11,854.97.

Major cities continue to implement stricter lockdown measures to combat the virus's community spread. The restrictions threaten to cut into critical holiday season spending and slow the US economic recovery even further. California Governor Gavin Newsom set a month-long curfew on Thursday, and public health authorities are warning against traveling for Thanksgiving.

Also weighing on sentiment Friday was a disagreement between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve over the continuation of funding for some of the emergency programs implemented during the recession.

On the coronavirus vaccine front, Pfizer and BioNTech said they applied for an emergency use authorization for their vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration. The companies said they can be ready to ship the vaccine within hours after the FDA approves the authorization.

Gilead Sciences Inc lost ground after a World Health Organization panel advised against the use of the company's COVID-19 treatment remdesivir, citing lack of evidence the drug improves survival or reduces the need for ventilation.

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