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US: With no stimulus in sight, stocks close lower

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Wall Street indices ended in the red on Wednesday as investors soured on the ongoing wait for fiscal stimulus from Congress, as another trading session passed without significant progress in negotiations.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street indices ended in the red on Wednesday as investors soured on the ongoing wait for fiscal stimulus from Congress, as another trading session passed without significant progress in negotiations.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 per cent to 28,210.82 at the close, while the tech-rich Nasdaq lost 0.3 per cent to finish at 11,484.70.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to 3,435.56.

Traders have waited months for lawmakers in Washington to agree on another spending bill to help the United States recover from the tens of millions of job losses and sharp GDP contraction caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

They started the day in a good mood, with indices rising after President Donald Trump's administration sent three top officials to speak on three different TV networks before markets opened to tout what they called progress made toward a deal.

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But no breakthrough was achieved by the closing bell, again raising the likelihood of a deal not being reached before the November 3 presidential election in which polls show Mr Trump behind his challenger Joe Biden.

"Stock prices continue to respond to day-to-day changes in assumptions toward the passage of a much-contested fiscal stimulus package," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

"Even though a deal could soon emerge from the House of Representatives, we think it will not end up being approved by the Senate," adding rising Covid-19 infections are also making traders nervous.

In fact after the close, the sides again reported progress, with a White House official saying the next 48 hours will be key.

Netflix shares slid after reporting slowing subscriber growth in the third quarter after booming at the pandemic's onset.

Electric carmaker Tesla gained 0.2 per cent, but jumped in after-hours trading following the earnings report showing profits doubled in the latest quarter amid a surge in deliveries.

AFP

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