Dow falls on concern about stimulus as Wall Street heads for weekly loss

U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday to end a downbeat week as investors weighed the potential for additional fiscal stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 61 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were marginally higher.

The Dow and S&P 500 were on track to snap a three-week winning streak and the Nasdaq was headed for its first weekly loss in five weeks. Week to date, the Dow was down 0.8%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down more than 1% each over that time period.

“We’ve offered compromises, the speaker on a number of issues is still dug in,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal. But we’ve made lots of progress in lots of areas, but there’s still some significant areas that we’re working through.” 

President Donald Trump also said Friday that he does not want the aid deal to bail out Democratic states. The major averages fell to their session lows on those remarks.

Traders have been keeping an eye on Washington in recent weeks as they gauge the prospects for new coronavirus aid to be pushed through. Several market experts and economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, think it is imperative that lawmakers reach a deal on another stimulus package.

“Governmental powers are still trying to put together another economic relief package,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group. “However, despite the July expiration of unemployment benefits provided by the CARES Act, here, two-and-a-half months later, U.S. economic momentum is remarkably healthy.”

Intel shares fell 11.3% following the release of mixed quarterly numbers for the chipmaker. The company’s earnings were in line with analyst expectations, but revenue from its data center business fell short of analyst estimates.

It has been a tough week for the tech sector, falling more than 2%, amid concerns that a Democratic sweep on Nov. 3 could put pressure on the high-flying stock group.

“We see a Democratic sweep as having the most uncertainty and tail risk for [the] large-cap internet sector,” Bank of America analysts said in a note. Specifically, the analysts think a “Blue Wave” could lead to higher taxes and tougher regulation for tech companies.

— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed reporting.

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