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Dow Jones Index Plunges As J&J Vaccine News Weighs on Sentiment

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading 1.82% lower, as a generalized sell-off hits the US markets. This follows the announcement by Johnson & Johnson about its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which registered an average efficacy rate of 65%. 

A breakdown of the announcement shows that the vaccine candidate showed varying efficacy in different regions of the world, with 57% effectiveness in the South African cohort of its trial. However, the company says that the vaccine is 85% effective overall in preventing severe disease.

The company is seeking US Emergency Use Authorization in early February, with availability to ship once this authorization is secured. It is unclear if the FDA will approve the candidate, which seems to fall within the pecking order of COVID-19 vaccines already in use in terms of effectiveness. 

Technical Levels to Watch

Today’s slide has violated the 30101 support line. A lower close below this level and the previous two daily candles confirms the lower low that could lead to a further decline on the Dow. This move would target the 29842 support, with additional downside targets seen at 29255 and 28979, in that order. 

On the flip side, failure to close below the 30101 support means that a lower low is not confirmed, which could allow bulls to push prices up to the 30358 resistance level. A further advance sends the Dow Jones Industrial Average towards 30585, with the all-time highs at 31288 standing as an additional barrier to attempts at new highs. 

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