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US Stocks End Tuesday Lower            10/27 15:58

   Wall Street's losses mounted for the second straight day Tuesday as momentum 
slows on worries about rising virus counts and Washington's inability to 
deliver more aid to the economy.

   (AP) -- Wall Street's losses mounted for the second straight day Tuesday as 
momentum slows on worries about rising virus counts and Washington's inability 
to deliver more aid to the economy.

   The S&P 500 fell 0.3% after spending much of the day swinging between small 
gains and losses. Most of the stocks in the index fell, particularly banks, oil 
producers and other companies whose profits tend to track the strength of the 
economy. Those losses outweighed gains in technology stocks and companies that 
rely on consumer spending. Traders also welcomed news that AMD has agreed to 
buy fellow chipmaker Xilinx for $35 billion.

   The market's latest pullback, which follows the S&P 500's worst day in a 
month, cuts further into what had been a solid rebound this month after heavy 
selling in September snapped a five-month winning streak. Just two weeks ago, 
the S&P 500 was holding on to 4.4% gain for the month. It's now on track for a 
gain of just 0.8%.

   "Even though we had a really nice runup for a few months, we had been 
concerned there would be some volatility coming in pre-election, and it's just 
a function of the huge uncertainty level," said Lisa Erickson, head of the 
Traditional Investment Group at U.S Bank Wealth Management.

   The S&P 500 fell 10.29 points to 3,390.68. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 
lost 222.19 points, or 0.8%, to 27,463.19. The Nasdaq composite rose 72.41 
points, or 0.6%, to 11,431.35.

   Caution continues to hang over markets. Coronavirus counts keep climbing at 
a troubling rate across much of the United States and Europe. The worry is that 
could lead to the return of lockdowns aimed at slowing the pandemic's spread, 
which could further choke off the improvements the economy showed during the 
summer.

   The U.S. economy's momentum has already slowed following the expiration of 
supplemental benefits for laid-off workers and other support that Congress 
approved for the economy earlier this year.

   Reports on the economy released Tuesday were mixed. Orders for big-ticket 
manufactured goods rose 1.9% in September, an acceleration from August's 0.4% 
growth and better than economists expected but well below July's 11.8%. 
Consumer confidence also weakened a bit in October, when economists were 
expecting it to hold steady.

   "The market was really set up for any sort of a negative surprise that could 
potentially impact it," said Scott Knapp, chief market strategist at CUNA 
Mutual Group.

   Investors have been clamoring for Congress to deliver another round of 
stimulus for the economy, but they're increasingly acknowledging it won't 
happen anytime soon.

   House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued 
their negotiations on a deal Monday afternoon, and a Pelosi spokesman said 
she's optimistic an agreement can happen before Election Day next week. But 
even if a deal is reached, it could wither in the face of resistance from 
Republicans controlling the Senate. After confirming the latest Supreme Court 
justice, the Senate is unlikely to return to session until Nov. 9.

   "The market has accepted the odds of a stimulus package before the election 
and even before the end of the year have gone down dramatically," said Adam 
Taback, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.

   Wall Street's caution is also apparent in how it's reacting to corporate 
profit reports. Through the first two weeks of earnings season, companies that 
reported better results than expected have not been getting the typical pop in 
their stock price the day after.

   "Companies that are beating expectations are not being rewarded to the 
degree that companies that miss expectations are being punished," Knapp said. 
"That's going to be the case when you have valuations this high."

   The parade of companies reporting better profits than expected for the last 
quarter continued to grow Tuesday, helping to steady the market somewhat. 
Merck, Invesco and Laboratory Corp. of America were among the roughly two dozen 
companies in the S&P 500 reporting earnings for the summer that topped 
analysts' expectations.

   F5 Networks climbed 8.5% for one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 after 
it reported better earnings than expected. But 3M fell 3.1% despite likewise 
reporting stronger results than forecast.

   Caterpillar slid 3.2% after reporting stronger earnings than expected, while 
Eli Lilly slumped 6.9% after its profit report fell short of Wall Street's 
forecast.

   This is the busiest week of earnings reporting season, and Microsoft is the 
next big company on the schedule after trading ends Tuesday.

   Xilinx jumped 8.6% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 following the 
announcement of its all-stock acquisition by AMD.

   In another sign of increased caution, Treasury yields retrenched again. The 
yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 0.77% from 0.81% late Monday.

   European stock markets fell, and Asian markets ended mixed.

 
 
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