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US close: Stocks slide as stimulus talks remain in focus

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Monday 19 Oct 2020

US close: Stocks slide as stimulus talks remain in focus

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks closed sharply lower on Monday as a continued rise in the number of new Covid-19 cases and stalled stimulus talks remained in focus.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.44% at 28,195.42, while the S&P 500 was 1.63% weaker at 3,426.92 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 1.65% softer at 11,478.88.

The Dow closed 410.89 points lower on Monday, erasing gains recorded on Friday when the index snapped a three-day losing streak.

In focus throughout the session was data from Johns Hopkins University which showed Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more in 38 US states as of Friday, while nationwide, the daily case average had risen by more than 16% week-on-week to almost 55,000.

Also taking up much of investors' attention were comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on Saturday that she would be allowing the Trump administration 48 hours to reach an aid deal before the 3 November election as Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued talks over the weekend.

The pair spoke again on Monday and apparently "continued to narrow their differences", according to Pelosi's spokesman.

"The Speaker continues to hope that, by the end of the day Tuesday, we will have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election," he said.

Some solid macro data out of China had initially boosted sentiment ahead of the open, with the world's second-largest economy posting a third-quarter gross domestic product growth of 4.9%.

On the US macro front, the National Association of Housebuilders/Wells Fargo housing market index posted a record high for the second month in a row. The index came to 85 for October, a marked improvement on the reading of 71 seen a year earlier, as all three components of the index either set records or matched their highest reading - with current sales conditions rising two points to 90, sales expectations for the next six month growing three points to 88 and buyer traffic remaining flat at 74.

In the corporate space, Halliburton closed 0.65% lower despite the group posted third-quarter adjust profits that topped expectations, while ConocoPhillips shares were down 3.14% after confirming that it was set to buy Concho Resources in a $9.7bn all-stock deal.

IBM shares were down in extended trading after reporting earnings.

Heavy hitters Netflix and Tesla will post their latest quarterly report cards later in the week.


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