US STOCKS-Wall St weighed down by fiscal aid uncertainty as tech boost fades


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    * Apple briefly becomes world's most valuable public company
    * Dow weighed down by Chevron, Exxon losses
    * Indexes down: Dow 1.05%, S&P 0.66%, Nasdaq 0.09%

 (Updates to early afternoon)
    By Medha Singh and Devik Jain
    July 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday as
uncertainty over the government's next coronavirus aid
exacerbated economic worries related to the pandemic, countering
early euphoria from stunning quarterly results by Apple, and Facebook.
    Google-parent Alphabet Inc  GOOGL.O  fell 5.1%, and was
among the biggest drags on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, as it posted
the first quarterly sales dip in its 16 years as a public
    Negotiations over coronavirus relief aid continued, but the
White House and Democrats were not yet on a path toward reaching
a deal, hours before the expiration of a federal unemployment
    "Markets are trading as if there's going to be an emergency
stimulus or at least a stopgap measure. Otherwise we would see
stocks much, much lower," said Danielle DiMartino Booth, chief
strategist of Quill Intelligence in Dallas.
    "There's a lot of enthusiasm and investors certainly want
stocks to go up, but we keep getting interrupted by the reality
of the bad news."
    Deaths from COVID-19 appeared to be rising at their fastest
rate since early June in the United States, while the epicenter
of the pandemic showed signs of shifting to the Midwest.*:nL2N2F10ZB*:nL2N2F214X
    U.S. stocks opened higher on a boost from technology
companies. Apple Inc  AAPL.O  surged as much as 7.1% to briefly
take over Saudi Aramco  2222.SE  as the world's most valuable
public company, as it delivered year-on-year revenue gains
across every category and in every geography.*:nL2N2F12LV Inc  AMZN.O  jumped 3.7% after posting the
biggest profit in its 26-year history, while Facebook Inc  FB.O 
climbed 7.5% after it reported better-than-expected revenue.*:nL3N2F1551
    A surge in the stocks of the tech titans, which make up
nearly a fifth of the S&P 500's value, and an estimated $5
trillion in asset purchases unleashed by the five biggest
central banks globally have set the S&P 500 on course for its
fourth straight monthly gain.
    The benchmark index is now about 4% shy of its February
all-time high, but faltering macroeconomic data and rising
COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are making investors cautious again.
    At 12:53 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
was down 276.53 points, or 1.05%, at 26,037.12, the S&P 500
 .SPX  was down 21.52 points, or 0.66%, at 3,224.70. The Nasdaq
Composite  .IXIC  was down 9.66 points, or 0.09%, at 10,578.15.
    Energy stocks  .SPNY  fell the most among the 11 major S&P
sectors after Chevron Corp  CVX.N  reported an $8.3 billion loss
on asset writedowns and ExxonMobil Corp  XOM.N  recorded a
second consecutive quarterly loss.*:nL3N2F2432*:nL3N2F23YJ
    Caterpillar Inc  CAT.N  fell 4.1% after the bellwether for
economic activity offered little signs of improvement in
equipment sales.*:nL2N2F20EO
    Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.76-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and a 3.57-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 92 new highs and 20 new lows.

Apple briefly becomes world's most valuable company
 (Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing
by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)
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