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Stocks close with losses as states, cities reimpose COVID-19 restrictions

Stocks close with losses as states, cities reimpose COVID-19 restrictions
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The stock market closed with losses Wednesday after reversing from earlier gains, closing in the red for the second consecutive day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of 345 points, falling 1.2 percent after rising by more than 140 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 also closed with a loss of 1.2 percent, and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.8 percent.

Stocks have whipsawed over the past two weeks as investors see encouraging progress toward two COVID-19 vaccines amid severely rising coronavirus cases. 

More than 250,000 Americans have died from complications of COVID-19, and the U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 new cases every day since the Nov. 3 election. And while vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer could be available to front-line workers and high-risk individuals as soon as next month, it could take until April for vaccines to be widely available to the general public.

The third wave of coronavirus cases and looming winter have prompted several states and cities to reimpose restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. New York City public schools will close on Thursday amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, and Wisconsin Gov. Tony EversTony EversWisconsin police still searching for mall shooting suspect The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Stocks close with losses as states, cities reimpose COVID-19 restrictions MORE (D) announced Wednesday he would extend the statewide mask mandate into 2021.