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  • The Dow closed down by about 391 points, or 1.6%, at 24,207.
  • The S&P 500 index ended 1.1% lower at about 2,923.
  • Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.5% to end lower at 9,185.

US benchmarks were ending off their highs on Tuesday and giving back ground made at the start of the week as markets buying into the vaccine hopes were quickly reversing tack on the first signs of doubt. A report from Stat News on a Tuesday afternoon played down the upbeat study which had been released by Moderna about its coronavirus vaccine candidate. Consequently, stocks plummeted into the close. 

The Dow closed down by about 391 points, or 1.6%, at 24,207, the S&P 500 index ended 1.1% lower at about 2,923 while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.5% to end lower at 9,185, giving up its gains for the day in the final half-hour of trading. Moderna shares plummeted by 10.4% in late Tuesday action to almost pare back a 13% surge on Monday which brought it to a record close.

At the start of the week, we heard that volunteers who received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine had positive early results, according to the biotech company, which partnered with the National Institutes of Health to develop the vaccine. If future studies go well, the company’s vaccine could be available to the public as early as January, Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told CNN. However, the Stat News article said that the Moderna report on its experimental remedy for COVID-19 lacked sufficient data. 

In other news, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren during a CNBC interview cautioned that businesses reopening may be “premature” as Americans continue to contend psychologically with the COVID-19 pandemic. Traders took heed of his warnings that consumer demand may still be an issue as the economy attempts to restart from coronavirus-induced closures.