Dow drops over 300 points on first trading day of 2021

NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) — U.S. stocks reversed earlier gains to finish noticeably lower on Monday, the first trading session of 2021, amid lingering coronavirus concerns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 382.59 points, or 1.25 percent, to 30,223.89. The S&P 500 fell 55.42 points, or 1.48 percent, to 3,700.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 189.84 points, or 1.47 percent, to 12,698.45.

Earlier in the day, all the major indexes traded higher, with both the 30-stock index and the S&P 500 briefly hitting new record highs.

Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with real estate down 3.29 percent, leading the laggards. Energy eked out a gain of 0.13 percent, the best-performing group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower with seven of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

Spiraling COVID-19 infections continue to present a headwind.

The United States has registered more than 20.7 million confirmed cases with related deaths exceeding 352,000 as of Monday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. stocks experienced dramatic moves in 2020, driven by fears over the pandemic and an economic recession.

The S&P 500 slumped nearly 34 percent in only 23 trading sessions earlier in the past year, but equities managed to bounce back and post solid yearly gains even as U.S. economy struggled to recover.

For the year 2020, the Dow rose 7.3 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq advanced 16.3 percent and 43.6 percent, respectively.

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