U.S. stock indices gave up strong early gains to close largely lower Friday after the World Health Organization confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic remained a deadly threat, and Apple said it would shut down some stores because of rising cases in parts of America.
In volatile trading, the S&P 500 dropped 0.6 percent, driven by declines in utilities, energy and industrial shares. The benchmark index closed down 1.9 percent on the week.
Stocks rallied in the midst of reports that China is planning to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the Phase One US trade deal, only to have the gains erased after data show record COVID-19 infections in Arizona and Florida. Investors in a quarterly event known as quadruple witching were rattled by a wave of volatility as a host of options expired.
The economy came to a standstill during April's pandemic lockdown. Though some economic data are beginning to improve, the country is in a recession. The progress could be hindered by the second round of restrictions.
Stocks initially rallied at the opening bell on Friday, with analysts claiming that trade relations between the US and China were behind those initial gains.
In Europe, investors focused on the EU's proposed €750 billion ($840 billion) program to help economies recover from lockdowns, which helped lift the Stoxx 600 Index rallying 0.6 percent.
Investors have betted that policymakers would be able to bring their economies back on track with ample support available to them. A portion of last week's losses that were spurred by alarm about the second wave of coronavirus infections were clawed back by US and European benchmarks.
The World Health Organization during a Friday meeting also disclosed that the pandemic has entered a "new and dangerous phase." Around 8.5 million people have been sickened with COVID-19 globally and the virus has claimed the lives of at least 456,000, based on data by the Johns Hopkins University.
In related news, Wu Zunyou, China CDC's chief epidemiologist on Thursday disclosed that the government's recent COVID-19 outbreak is now under control. Beijing had cut commercial flights and shut down schools in recent days as a result of the virus' resurgence.
In webcast remarks to the Providence Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren warned that the US economy is unlikely to have a rapid recovery and more support from the central bank and Congress is likely to be required, reiterating statements issued by Chairman Jerome Powell earlier this week.