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US: Stocks end worst week, month since March

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Wall Street stocks finished its worst week and month since March on a downcast note on Friday, falling further as investors fretted over rising coronavirus cases and Tuesday's presidential election.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished its worst week and month since March on a downcast note on Friday, falling further as investors fretted over rising coronavirus cases and Tuesday's presidential election.

A trove of earnings from tech giants that hit the Nasdaq, as shares of Apple, Amazon and Facebook all dropped at least five per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.6 per cent to close the week at 26,501.60.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 1.2 per cent to end at 3,269.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 2.5 per cent to 10.911.59.

The third-quarter earnings period is winding down after a busy three-week stretch, which underscored hesitancy about the growth outlook amid the pandemic, said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

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"These companies can't really get their mind around demand to provide earnings forecast, so they're not offering it," said Mr O'Hare, who noted the losses in the tech shares followed solid gains on Thursday.

Mr O'Hare said markets have been in "de-risking" mode all week following fresh coronavirus lockdowns in Europe, and as some polls have shown key states tightening in the US presidential contest, raising the odds of a contested election.

Among the large tech companies that reported results, Google-parent Alphabet outperformed its rivals, rising 3.4 per cent as its quarterly profits climbed to US$11.2 billion as ad spending rebounded after being hit by the pandemic.

ExxonMobil dropped 0.9 per cent as it reported its third straight quarterly loss, this time by US$680 million as low oil prices hammer the industry.

Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings both jumped more than five per cent after the Centers for Disease Control removed a no-sail order, moving the industry one step closer to resuming service.

AFP

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