Roundup: U.S. equities post weekly losses as traders monitor stimulus, earnings


NEW YORK, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street's major averages declined in the week as investors focused on developments regarding additional U.S. coronavirus stimulus, while digesting some earnings reports.

For the week ending Friday, the Dow lost 1 percent, the S&P 500 declined 0.5 percent, and the Nasdaq dropped 1.1 percent.

The S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges by total market cap, logged a weekly loss of 1.6 percent.

The market moves came as talks over a new U.S. COVID-19 relief package dragged on.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued to paint a picture of hope, even as time almost has run out for relief measures to be turned into law before the November election.

U.S. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday night blamed each other's party for failing to reach a COVID-19 relief deal, as the two faced off in the final presidential debate before Election Day.

"If a deal has any chance of getting passed before the election, it will likely need to get done by week's end so it can get voted on by the Senate," said Kevin Matras, analyst at Zacks Investment Research.

"Even then, it will have to be marked up, and debated first. That takes time. And it still has to pass," he added.

Stimulus negotiations have been a major focus for investors recently as they hoped a follow-up aid package would help combat the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 8.5 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States with over 224,000 deaths as of Saturday afternoon, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

"Given the ebb and flow of the news headlines, we expect markets to remain more volatile than normal, notably into the U.S. election," analysts at UBS said in a note earlier this week, adding "investors should look through the uncertainty to build long-term equity exposure."

"When the investment and/or political and social environment feel uncertain, it is important to redouble your efforts to make investment decisions based on fundamentals and what we know about equity markets from history," Mitch Zacks, CEO at Zacks Investment Management, said in a note on Saturday.

Wall Street also pored through a wave of earnings reports.

Intel shares plunged more than 10 percent on Friday after the company reported third-quarter earnings that revealed an unexpected drop in its data center segment.

U.S. credit card and travel services company American Express reported a third-quarter profit that disappointed expectations, while revenue topped estimates.

Toy giant Mattel reported third-quarter 2020 results, wherein both earnings and revenues surpassed market forecasts.

On the data front, U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, came in at 787,000 in the week ending Oct. 17, a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week's revised level, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected first-time applicants for state unemployment insurance to have totaled 875,000.

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