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US stocks retreat on disturbing virus trends, banks lower

Wall Street stocks fell early Friday as rising coronavirus cases continued to slow the US recovery and bank shares tumbled after the Federal Reserve barred banking share buybacks.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.1 percent to 25,455.25.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent to 3,060.82, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.8 percent to 9,939.71.

The governors from Texas and Florida on Thursday both signaled that they would pause the reopening of their economies as the two giant states of the US sunbelt contend with spikes in coronavirus cases.

Stocks have been volatile this week as investors try to assess the implications of the current phase of the coronavirus crisis and whether it will be as devastating to the economy as the shutdowns earlier this year.

US indices fell sharply Wednesday, but recovered some of those losses Thursday on bargain hunting facilitated by loose monetary policy.

Large banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo fell more than three percent as the Fed late Thursday ordered the industry to suspend buybacks and limit dividend payments in the wake of uncertainty over the coronavirus.

Dow member Nike dropped 3.3 percent as it reported a surprise $790 million loss following a steep drop in revenues due to coronavirus closures.

But Gap surged 30.4 percent as it announced a new venture with Kanye West that will sell West's Yeezy brand in the chain's stores.