NEW YORK (AFP) – Fears about the state of the US economic recovery turned Wall Street negative at the close on Tuesday (May 25), reversing gains made in early trading.

Equities rose at the open, but retreated following data from The Conference Board showing US consumer confidence flatlined in May, with Americans feeling less optimistic about employment and the business environment in coming months even as they viewed current conditions positively.

“It may be the economic data with the disappointment in consumer confidence” that undermined stocks as the index was expected to increase modestly, Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities told AFP.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.2 per cent lower at 34,312.46, and the broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.2 per cent to finish at 4,188.13.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was flat at 13,657.17.

Moderna, however, managed a gain of 3.1 per cent after the drugmaker said trials had shown its Covid-19 vaccine is “highly effective” in adolescents aged 12-17, and the company would seek regulators’ approval in June.

Lordstown Motors lost 7.5 per cent as the electric truck startup warned it would need to raise additional capital to meet its production targets, but that reflected a recovery from the more-severe plunge earlier in the day.