US stocks open mixed with pharmaceuticals on decline

Cases of UK coronavirus variant increased to 2,400 in 46 US states

Ovunc Kutlu   | 02.03.2021
US stocks open mixed with pharmaceuticals on decline


US stocks opened mixed Tuesday with pharmaceuticals declining as the number of coronavirus variant cases is on the rise.

The Dow Jones rose 21 points to 31,556 at 9.35 a.m. EDT (1435GMT), while the S&P 500 was flat at 3,901. The Nasdaq was off 18, or 1.3%, to 13,570.

Shares of Moderna and Novavax plummeted 3.4% and 8%, respectively.

On the tech front, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Tesla were also down around 1% each.

Stocks saw a strong rally during the previous session as volatility and yields declined.

The 10-year US Treasury yield, which increased in recent weeks but fell Monday, was down another 0.6% to 1.438% after the opening bell. The yield on Thursday hit its highest level since February 2020.

VIX volatility index, however, was up 0.4% to 23.45 shortly after Tuesday's opening, as investors' fears persist amid the pandemic-related global economic recovery.

In the US, the number of cases of the UK variant B.1.1.7 increased to 2,400 in 46 states, while the South African B.1.351 strain was detected in 16 with 53 cases. The P.1 variant that emerged in Brazil was seen in 10 cases in five states, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC said in January that the B.1.1.7 variant that emerged in September will quickly become the dominant variant in England and the rest of the world.

Out of 96.4 million distributed doses of vaccines in the US, 76.9 million have been administered as of 6 a.m. EDT (1100GMT) Monday, but only 25.4 million people, or 7.7% of the US population, have received two doses, according to the CDC.

More than 28.6 million cases have been recorded in the US since the start of the pandemic with an excess of 514,000 deaths, Johns Hopkins University data showed.

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