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US STOCKS-Wall St slips as losses in Facebook, Amazon weigh

Credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wall Street's main indexes slipped on Monday as losses in tech-related heavyweights Facebook and Amazon eclipsed optimism on a coronavirus relief deal before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes slipped on Monday as losses in tech-related heavyweights Facebook and Amazon eclipsed optimism on a coronavirus relief deal before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

U.S. stocks had opened higher after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was optimistic legislation could be pushed through before the election, but acknowledged an agreement would have to come by Tuesday for that to happen.

Last week the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus package to help Americans struggling with the economic ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, but Pelosi said the offer fell short in a range of areas and stuck to her demand for $2.2 trillion in aid.

"I do believe that both sides, even though two weeks before election, can see the way to getting some money back into unemployment programs," said Kim Forrest, Chief Investment Officer, Bokeh Capital Partners, Pittsburgh.

Wall Street's fear gauge .VIX rose for a sixth straight session as election campaigns kicked into high gear, with early voting starting in Florida, a battleground state that could decide the presidential election.

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden will debate for a final time on Thursday. AMZN.O, Facebook Inc FB.O and Microsoft Corp MSFT.O fell between 0.8% and 1%. They were among the biggest drags on the S&P 500.

All major S&P sectors were trading lower, with the communication services index .SPLRCL down about 1%.

"It's just the general volatility here. I wouldn't be surprised to see this bouncing around all day," said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank.

At 12:40 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 100.05 points, or 0.35%, at 28,506.26, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 15.01 points, or 0.43%, at 3,468.80. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 36.10 points, or 0.31%, at 11,635.45.

Video-streaming service Netflix Inc NFLX.O was a bright spot, rising 1.2% ahead of its results on Tuesday.

After the financial sector set a mixed tone to the start of the third-quarter earnings season, investors will look to results from about 91 S&P 500 companies this week including International Business Machines Corp IBM.N, whose quarterly report is expected later in the day.

Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co HAL.N posted a fourth consecutive quarterly loss as this year's slump in oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand for its services. Its shares, however, rose about 3.3%.

ConocoPhillips COP.N slipped 0.1% as it agreed to buy U.S. shale oil producer Concho Resources Inc CXO.N for $9.7 billion as the energy sector continued to consolidate. Concho fell 0.9%.

Chipmaker Microchip Technology Inc MCHP.O gained about 1.6% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "overweight".

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 94 new highs and 22 new lows.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Anil D'Silva)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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