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S&P 500 falls short of record high as tech stocks drag markets down

By
Don Jacobson & Daniel Uria
The S&P 500 closed the day down 26.78 points after nearing a record high earlier in the day, as tech stocks dragged markets down to close the day. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The S&P 500 closed the day down 26.78 points after nearing a record high earlier in the day, as tech stocks dragged markets down to close the day. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The S&P 500 neared record territory Tuesday, but ended the day with modest losses as tech stocks dragged the market down.

The S&P 500 was up 15 points to 3,377 by 12:30 p.m., less than 20 points off the all-time high (3,393.52) it set in February, but ended the day down 26.78 points, or 0.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 104.53 points, or 0.38% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.69%.

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Since its plunge in March, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the S&P has been steadily rising in response to unprecedented levels of fiscal and monetary stimulus and varying degrees of economic reopening.

Analysts said the S&P 500's momentum on Tuesday was partly fueled by Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that Moscow registered the world's first COVID-19 vaccine.

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Despite questions about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness -- particularly considering it was developed in a diplomatically isolated nation like Russia -- the U.S. markets responded positively.

"Every time you get some good news on COVID, and now we've got a potential vaccine coming from Russia -- it's skeptical at best, but nevertheless, the market is embracing it at this point," Belpointe strategist David Nelson told Yahoo.

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The index was also fueled by President Donald Trump saying Monday he's considering a capital gains tax cut.

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Despite the early gains, tech stocks fell for a second consecutive day dragging all three major indexes down.

Netflix stock plunged 3.40%, Apple stock fell 2.97%, Facebook stock dropped 2.61%, Amazon stock declined 2.14% and Google's parent company Alphabet declined 1.09%.

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