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Oops: Vaccine Hopes Ebb, Dow Loses 391

John Divine

Just a day after the Dow's best day in six weeks, stocks sold off heavily as traders digested a report from a health care news website that casts doubt upon how much weight should be given to new vaccine hopes.

Moderna (ticker: MRNA) announced on Monday what it painted as encouraging phase one results in a clinical trial with human patients, a big step in the hunt for a vaccine that would revitalize the global economy.

But Tuesday's STAT report, however, took a skeptical view of Moderna's announcement, criticizing the biotech for the lack of specifics in its release, rattling stocks in afternoon trades.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was largely flat as just over an hour remained in the trading day, quickly sold off, finishing down 391 points, or nearly 1.6%, to close at 24,206.

Walmart's e-commerce boom. While mom-and-pop shops are struggling across the country, Walmart ( WMT) is raking in the dough. Same-store sales at the world's largest retailer surged 10% year-over-year for the quarter ended May 1, and e-commerce sales jumped a remarkable 74% as consumers rapidly shifted their buying habits to cope with the pandemic.

Spotify inks Rogan. The music-streaming giant Spotify ( SPOT) has signed podcast giant Joe Rogan to an exclusive multiyear deal that will see his program streamed exclusively through the service. "The Joe Rogan Experience" is "the most-searched-for podcast on Spotify," the company noted, and its popularity on other platforms gives it built-in demand that should help Spotify convert free users to paid subscribers.

Spotify stock added over 8% on the news.

Apple doubling down on content. Apple ( AAPL) TV+ is reportedly acquiring older TV shows and movies and in talks to license even more content as the paid streaming platform attempts to bulk up its offerings to compete with an ever-growing array of streaming offerings highlighted by Netflix ( NFLX), Amazon's ( AMZN) Prime Video and Disney's ( DIS) Disney+ service.

Apple charges $4.99 a month for its service and had about 10 million members as of early February.

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