Wall Street closes lower on vaccine delay

Wall Street’s main indexes snapped a four-day winning streak on Tuesday. Weighing on investor sentiment: mixed results as corporate earnings season kicked off, a halted coronavirus vaccine trial, and an elusive fiscal relief package.

O’Neil Global Advisors chief investment officer Randy Watts:

“Investors are frustrated that Washington can’t seem to get its act together to get a package to the country which is sorely needed, especially for small businesses before the election.”

The Dow and S&P fell roughly six-tenths percent. But the Nasdaq closed just above breakeven, thanks partly to a gain in Amazon shares as the retailer kicked off its “Prime Day” shopping event.

Johnson & Johnson was a drag on the Dow and S&P. The drug maker said it’s pausing clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate after a participant got ill. And shares of rival Eli Lilly fell after it said the federally funded clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatment similar to one taken by U.S. President Donald Trump has been paused because of a safety concern.

Investors took profit on Apple’s high-flying shares after the company unveiled its new 5G iPhone 12.

Financials were the day’s biggest decliners. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup both beat analysts’ expectations. But a slowdown in loan demand and low interest rates slammed Citi’s bottom line, and its management offered a bleak outlook. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs report on Wednesday, followed by Morgan Stanley on Thursday.