Wall Street continues sell-off at open, Dow -0.4pc

US stocks rose on October 3, 2014 after the September jobs report beats expectations. — Reuters pic

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NEW YORK, April 20 — US stocks opened lower today, as traders continued to cash out of the recent rally and worry that the market has hit its peak.

With no economic data forthcoming and few changes in Treasury bond yields, the sell-off came as “markets weigh continued uncertainty regarding President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, festering Covid-19 cases globally and lingering optimism of robust 2021 earnings and economic prosperity,” Charles Schwab analysts said.

About 30 minutes into trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 per cent at 33,925.02.

The broad-based S&P 500 was 0.3 per cent lower at 4,151.97, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.2 per cent to 13,886.81.

Last week ended with the Dow and S&P 500 at new records, but trader sentiment changed on Monday with the three major indices closing decisively lower.

Major companies are reporting earnings this week, including body care and cleaning supplies giant Procter & Gamble, which lost 1.3 per cent after reporting solid sales growth in its most recent quarter.

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was up 1.2 per cent after saying it was “very confident” in its Covid-19 vaccine and hopeful for a quick resolution from regulators over its status.

Aerospace firm Boeing fell 2.3 per cent after announcing ahead of its annual meeting Tuesdya that it will lift the company’s retirement age for David Calhoun to 70, enabling him to remain as chief executive potentially through April 2028.

Tobacco stocks were mixed after The Wall Street Journal reported the Biden administration was considering a rule to limit nicotine content in cigarettes.

Philip Morris gained 1.1 per cent, while British American Tobacco fell 4.6 per cent. — AFP