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Stocks Fall Monday as Aid Hope Fades   10/19 16:09

   Stocks gave up some of their recent gains Monday as Wall Street's hopes that 
Washington will come through with badly needed aid for the economy before 
Election Day faded.

   (AP) -- Stocks gave up some of their recent gains Monday as Wall Street's 
hopes that Washington will come through with badly needed aid for the economy 
before Election Day faded.

   The S&P 500 dropped 1.6%, its worst day in more than three weeks. The 
benchmark index had been up 0.5% in the early going following a report that 
China's economy grew at a 5% annual rate in the last quarter. The market's 
slide was broad, though technology, health care and communication stocks bore 
the brunt of the selling. Treasury yields were mixed.

   The early gains evaporated by midafternoon ahead of another round of talks 
between Democratic and Republican leadership over a long-sought economic 
stimulus bill. Wall Street is expecting that lawmakers will agree on new 
stimulus measures for the economy, but the odds of that happening before the 
Nov. 3 election have dimmed. Over the weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said 
a deal would have to come within 48 hours -- or by Tuesday -- for a stimulus 
package to be enacted by Election Day.

   Uncertainty over when more aid for the economy may arrive, signs new 
coronavirus infections are surging and the upcoming election will likely make 
for a volatile few weeks, analysts say.

   "We're in a period here in the the next couple of weeks where the market 
goes sideways through the election," Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at 
U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

   The S&P 500 fell 56.89 points to 3,426.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 
of big blue chips dropped 410.89 points, or 1.4%, to 28,195.42. The Nasdaq 
composite extended its losing streak to a fifth day, losing 192.67 points, or 
1.7%, to 11,478.88.

   Small company stocks also fell. The Russell 2000 gave up 20.18 points, or 
1.2%, to 1,613.63. The index has gained 7% so far this month, outpacing the 
1.9% gain for the broader S&P 500.

   Stocks have been mostly pushing higher this month after giving back some of 
their big gains this year in a sudden September swoon. The benchmark S&P 500 
has notched a gain in each of the past three weeks. Even so, trading often has 
been choppy from one day to the next, reflecting uncertainty over the timing of 
more stimulus for the economy, something investors have been hoping for since 
July, when a supplemental $600-a-week unemployment benefit package ran out.

   Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to bring a his version of 
a stimulus bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Wednesday. However 
that bill is likely to get zero traction with the Democrat-controlled House of 
Representatives. So far, McConnell, Pelosi and President Donald Trump have not 
been on the same page.

   Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke Monday and are due to 
resume talks Tuesday, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted after the end of 
regular trading.

   Investors were also looking ahead to another busy week of corporate earnings 
reports. Procter & Gamble, Netflix and American Express are a few of the 
companies that will reveal the extent of the virus pandemic's impact during the 
most recent quarter.

   Across the S&P 500, analysts are expecting companies to report another drop 
in profits for the summer from year-ago levels. But they're forecasting the 
decline to moderate from the nearly 32% plunge from the spring as the economy 
has shown signs of improvement.

   AMC Entertainment was among the few gainers Monday. Its shares jumped 16.4% 
after the movie theater chain said it plans to resume operations in theaters in 
New York State later this week.

   Several airlines also rose after the Transport Security Administration said 
the number of passengers screened in a single day for flights in the U.S. 
topped one million on Sunday for the first time since the coronavirus cases 
began to spike in March. That compares with 2.6 million passengers screened by 
TSA on the same day last year, or roughly 60% fewer. United Airlines rose 3.9% 
and Southwest Airlines edged up 0.4%.

   ConocoPhillips fell 3.2% after the oil giant announced it would buy Concho 
Resources for $9.7 billion. The deal is the largest in the oil industry since 
crude prices plummeted this year due to the COVID pandemic. Concho lost 2.8%.

   European stocks closed broadly lower, and Asian markets ended mixed.

 
 
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