US stocks trade mixed a day after record highs amid mounting COVID variant fears

NYSE Trader
A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., March 3, 2020. Andrew Kelly/Reuters
  • US stocks were mixed on Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 hit record highs.
  • Fears of another wave of COVID-19 are on the rise as the Delta variant continues its spread.
  • “The Delta variant, which is more transmissible, is causing a parabolic rise in cases in the UK and Israel,” Fundstrat’s Tom Lee said.
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US stocks were mixed on Tuesday, a day after both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 surged to all-time highs.

The Dow Jones led markets higher in Tuesday morning trades, while the S&P 500 rose to eke out another record and the Nasdaq 100 was slightly negative.

The pause in new records for the stock market comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues its spread across the globe.

“The Delta variant, which is more transmissible, is causing a parabolic rise in cases in the UK and Israel,” Fundstrat’s Tom Lee explained in a note to clients on Tuesday. To combat the variant, Israel is requiring mask-wearing again, and Australia has implemented new lockdown measures.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

Facebook surpassed a $1 trillion valuation on Monday for the first time ever after a court dismissed 2 antitrust lawsuits against the company. The stock finished Monday’s trading session up about 4%.

Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest has filed with the SEC to create a bitcoin ETF that would trade under the ticker symbol “ARKB.” The SEC is currently sitting on nearly 10 bitcoin ETF applications, but has not yet signaled that they will be approved.

US banks have authorized up to $30 billion in new stock buybacks and increased their quarterly dividend payments by a combined $2 billion after Fed stress tests showed that they could withstand a financial crisis.

Oil prices were higher. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.8%, to $73.47 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped 0.7%, to $75.20 per barrel.

Gold fell 1.5%, to $1,753.60 per ounce.