S&P 500 ends lower as investors eye stimulus impasse
By Noel Randewich (Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended lower on Thursday after a rise in weekly jobless claims compounded worries about a stalling economic recovery and fading hopes for more fiscal aid before the election.
By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended lower on Thursday after a rise in weekly jobless claims compounded worries about a stalling economic recovery and fading hopes for more fiscal aid before the election.
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose to a two-month high last week, stoking fears the COVID-19 pandemic was inflicting lasting damage to the labor market.
A separate report showed manufacturing activity in New York State fell more than expected in October.
"Going into the fall it will be difficult for unemployment to make a lot of positive headway because of the lack of stimulus," said Christopher C. Grisanti, chief equity strategist, MAI Capital Management in Cleveland.
U.S. President Donald Trump said he is willing to raise his offer of $1.8 trillion for a COVID-19 relief deal with Democrats in Congress, but the idea was shot down by his fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The CBOE volatility index <.VIX>, investors' fear gauge, hit a one-week high. The S&P 500 is down about 3% from its Sept. 2 record high close.
With less than 20 days until the Nov. 3 election, Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are set to hold dueling prime-time town halls on Thursday instead of their second presidential debate, which was canceled after Trump declined to take part in a virtual matchup.
"More of what moves the market will be the crystallizing of who is going to win the presidency, and how close the Senate races are," said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta.
A Biden presidency, coupled with a Democratic Senate, would likely mean a larger fiscal stimulus plan than what a Republicans Senate would agree to. However, Biden is also widely seen on Wall Street as likely to raise taxes.
Supporting the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc
Focus is also on the quarterly results for corporate America, with expectations for third-quarter earnings improving to an 19% drop from a 25% tumble forecast on July 1, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 18.02 points, or 0.06%, to 28,495.98, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 5.32 points, or 0.15%, to 3,483.35 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 54.86 points, or 0.47%, to 11,713.87.
The S&P 500 financials index <.SPSY> climbed, while communication services <.SPLRCL> was among the worst performers.
The S&P 1500 airlines index <.SPCOMAIR> dipped after United Airlines
Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc
(Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Marguerita Choy)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.