US STOCKS-Dow slips, S&P flat as stimulus stalemate weighs

Reuters

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    * Intel slumps as quarterly margins fall
    * American Express drops as profit falls short of estimates
    * Indexes mixed: Dow down 0.33%, S&P 500 up 0.03%, Nasdaq
down
0.03%

 (Updates to early afternoon, adds new comment, NEW YORK
dateline; changes byline)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The Dow traded lower on Friday,
while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were little changed in choppy
trading, pressured by a stalemate in negotiations on a new U.S.
coronavirus aid bill as investors turned cautious ahead of the
Nov. 3 presidential election.
    The three indexes were pulled down by the more than 10%
slump in chipmaker Intel Corp  INTC.O  after it reported a drop
in margins as consumers bought cheaper laptops and
pandemic-stricken businesses and governments clamped down on
data center spending.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2HD4IR
    Uncertainty over the timeline of the relief legislation has
been weighing on Wall Street's major indexes, which were set to
cap a choppy week lower.
    U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it still was possible
to get another round of COVID-19 aid before the election, but
that it was up to President Donald Trump to act, including
talking to reluctant Senate Republicans, if he wants it.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2HE0ZN
    Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin countered that
Pelosi must compromise to get an aid package, saying significant
differences remained between the Republican administration and
Democrats.
    "The rhetoric from Capitol Hill has been confusing and
fairly volatile," said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at
GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta. "That has led to uncertainty
which has caused stocks to drift a bit lower the last few
trading sessions."
    Meanwhile, a record 50 million Americans cast ballots,
eclipsing total early voting from the 2016 election. Trump and
Democratic rival Joe Biden debated on Thursday for the last time
to persuade the few remaining undecided voters 11 days before
their contest, but while the debate was more toned down and
substantive, it hardly moved the needle.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2HE4UL urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2HD0U2
    Trump trailed former vice president Biden in national polls,
but the contest is much tighter in some battleground states
where the election will likely be decided.
    At 2:06 PM ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  fell
79.43 points, or 0.28%, to 28,284.23, the S&P 500  .SPX  gained
2.57 points, or 0.07%, to 3,456.06 and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  added 0.17 points, or 0%, to 11,506.17.
    The energy index  .SPNY  dropped 1.4%, the most among 11
major S&P sectors.
    The third-quarter earnings season chugged along, with about
84% of the 135 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far
topping quarterly profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
    Next week's focus will be on results from Big Tech companies
Apple Inc  AAPL.O , Facebook Inc  FB.O , Amazon.com Inc  AMZN.O 
and Google-parent Alphabet  GOOGL.O .
    Gilead Sciences Inc  GILD.O  rose 0.7% as its antiviral drug
remdesivir became the first and only drug approved for treating
patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2HD4I1
    American Express Co  AXP.N  dropped 3.4% as it missed
estimates for third-quarter profit after its customers spent
less during the COVID-19 fueled economic slowdown and it set
aside money for potential payment defaults.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2HE33Q
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.39-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.29-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted 27 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 52 new highs and 14 new lows.

 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfus; Additional reporting by
Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Cynthia Osterman)
 ((gertrude.chavez@thomsonreuters.com; 646-301-4124; Reuters
Messaging: rm://gertrude.chavez.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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