Wall Street dips in choppy trade as investors look for stimulus
By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes swung between slight gains and losses on Thursday, as investors held out for more fiscal stimulus against the backdrop of economic data pointing to a slowing labor market recovery. The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits last week dropped more than expected to 787,000, but remained stubbornly high as support from fiscal stimulus faded. Trading on Wall Street this week has been dictated by a flurry of reports related to progress in the stimulus talks
By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan
(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes swung between slight gains and losses on Thursday, as investors held out for more fiscal stimulus against the backdrop of economic data pointing to a slowing labor market recovery.
The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits last week dropped more than expected to 787,000, but remained stubbornly high as support from fiscal stimulus faded.
Trading on Wall Street this week has been dictated by a flurry of reports related to progress in the stimulus talks. The CBOE Market Volatility index rose for the eighth time in nine sessions on Thursday.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said negotiators were making progress in ongoing talks with the Trump administration for another round of financial aid and legislation could be hammered out "pretty soon".
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been negotiating a relief bill near the $2 trillion mark, a prospect that faces opposition from Senate Republicans who have expressed concern about the potential impact on an already ballooning federal deficit.
"Investors are just waiting," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist CFRA Research. "They are resigned to the fact that we will not get stimulus before the election."
All eyes will be on the final presidential debate on Thursday night, where Trump will attempt to change the trajectory of the race that Democratic challenger Joe Biden seems to be leading, according to national polls.
Energy and financials rose 2.7% and 1.4%, the steepest percentage gainers among the major S&P sectors.
At 12:39 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13.58 points or 0.05% to 28,197.24, the S&P 500 lost 4.81 points, or 0.15% to 3,430.75 and the Nasdaq Composite index shed 67.46 points or 0.59% to 11,417.23.
Meanwhile, about a fifth of S&P 500 companies have reported third-quarter results of which 84.1% beat earnings estimates, according to IBES Refinitiv data.
Tesla Inc climbed 1.5% after the electric-car maker reported its fifth consecutive quarterly profit on record revenue of $8.8 billion.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc fell 5.2% as it posted a drop in quarterly profit, hurt by higher beef prices, delivery costs and coronavirus -related expenses.
Among blue-chip companies, Coca-Cola Co gained 1% as it beat quarterly results expectations, while chemicals maker Dow Inc fell 0.8% even as it surpassed quarterly profit estimates.
Advancing issues nearly matched decliners on the NYSE and on Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 15 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 36 new highs and 21 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)
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.