S&P 500 flat after Monday’s selloff as focus turns to corporate earnings

In this news, we discuss the S&P 500 flat after Monday’s selloff as focus turns to corporate earnings.

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 was little changed on Tuesday after falling sharply in the previous session as investors analyzed a series of mixed corporate earnings, pending progress in the US fiscal stimulus.

The blue chip Dow was weighed down by shares of Caterpillar Inc and 3M Co after industrials reported lower quarterly profits.

The high tech Nasdaq rose 0.6% as Microsoft Corp firmed 0.8% as its results approach after the closing bell. Apple Inc, Amazon.com, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook Inc, which accounts for about a fifth of the total value of the S&P 500, is also releasing its results this week.

Concerns about an increase in coronavirus cases in the United States are weighing on the market, but technology, in particular, appears to be the least exposed sector, said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office at New Vernon, New Jersey.

“A focus on big tech companies can cause this market to rally despite the problems the virus is creating.”

A record number of new coronavirus infections in the United States and some European countries and an elusive fiscal stimulus sent the three major U.S. stock indexes to almost four weeks on Monday.

Sectors sensitive to economic growth have been affected. The S&P 500 bank index and the S&P energy sector lost about 1% each.

Meanwhile, Wall Street’s fear gauge has hovered to its highest level in nearly two months on nervousness over the election outcome.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in national polls, but the race is much closer in the battlefield states that determine the election outcome.

At 9:43 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 71.97 points, or 0.26%, to 27,613.41, the S&P 500 was down 0.95 points, or 0.03%, to 3400.02. The Nasdaq Composite rose 53.17 points, or 0.47%, to 11,412.11.

Insurer American International Group Inc rose 3.3% after its board of directors appointed Peter Zaffino as chairman and chief executive officer and approved a plan to separate life and retirement activities from the rest of the company.

Semiconductor designer Advanced Micro Devices Inc fell 2.8% on agreeing to buy Xilinx Inc in a $ 35 billion all-stock deal that will escalate its battle with Intel Corp in the market for data center chips. Xilinx shares climbed around 10.2%, while Intel shares fell 1.9%.

Merck & Co Inc rose 0.4% as it increased its profit forecast for the full year. Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co fell about 5% after its quarterly profit was hit by rising costs to develop a COVID-19 treatment.

Falling issues outnumbered the advancers by a 1.34 to 1 ratio on the NYSE. The rising issues outnumbered the declines by a 1.02 to 1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P Index recorded eight new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 10 new highs and 14 new lows.

Report by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D’Silva

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-27 17:46:11.

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