The US equity market finished volatile session lower for the first time in four sessions on Tuesday, 19 May 2020, as investors elected to book profit after a strong rally in the prior session, due to mixed batch of corporate results from major retailers and reports that Moderna Inc.'s coronavirus vaccine study didn't produce enough critical data to assess its success. However, market losses were capped after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell statement that the central bank is ready to use all the weapons in its arsenal to help the U. S. economy endure the coronavirus pandemic.
At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 390.51 points, or 1.6%, to 24,206.86.
The S&P 500 - a gauge of US retirement and education savings accounts - shed 30.97 points, or 1.1%, to 2,922.94. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index declined 49.72 points, or 0.5%, to 9,185.10.
Equities had fluctuated much of the day after reports circulated that Moderna Inc.'s vaccine study, which was credited in part for Monday's rally, didn't produce enough critical data to assess its success.
Investors also sifted through a mixed batch of results from major retailers including Walmart and Home Depot. Home improvement chain Home Depot fell 3% as it missed quarterly profit estimates due to higher costs, while department store operator Kohl's Corp slumped 8% after reporting a bigger-than-expected loss.
Walmart Inc shed 2%, despite the world's largest grocer exceeded expectations for quarterly revenue and earnings as online sales soared due to stockpiling of essentials during the coronavirus-led lockdown.
Southwest Airlines rose as it reported a "modest improvement" in demand in May after bookings more than offset cancelations for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis.
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