U.S. stocks faltered after recovering from a weak start Tuesday morning, but slipped deeper into the red by noon and despite recovering gradually, eventually ended the session on a negative note, snapping a three-day winning streak.
The Dow ended down 131.40 points or 0.48 percent at 27,452.66. The S&P 500 slid 16.13 points or 0.28 percent to 3,335.47, while the Nasdaq closed lower by 32.28 points or 0.29 percent at 11,085.25.
Although stocks staged a recovery of sorts from the day’s lows, the mood remained cautious as investors looked ahead to the first presidential debate from Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, due to take place at 9 PM ET.
Lingering worries about the spread of coronavirus infections and fears of fresh lockdown measures weighed on the market. Comments by a couple of Fed officials that the economy might take take longer time to recover made an impact as well on stocks.
Investors were also reacting to the latest updates on a coronavirus relief package. After a near one-hour conversation on Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin made plans to speak again Wednesday on their effort to deliver trillions of dollars in relief to struggling Americans just ahead of the November election.
After her conversation with Mnuchin, Pelosi said she’s hopeful about clinching a longshot deal. The House Democrats had released a $2.2 trillion bill for the coronavirus-relief package on Monday.
Among the notable losers in the session, Chevron (CVX) slipped by about 3 percent. General Electric (GE), 3M (MMM) and Boeing (BA) lost 1 to 1.3 percent.
On the other hand, DuPont (DWDP) surged up nearly 4 percent. Nike (NKE) and Amgen (AMGN) also rose sharply.
On the economic front, the Conference Board’s report said U.S. consumer confidence jumped 15.5 to a 6-month high of 101.8 in August. That was stronger than an expected score of 90.0.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as investors pinned hopes on a new U.S. coronavirus relief bill and looked ahead to the U.S. presidential debate between Trump and Biden, due later in the day.
The major European markets all ended weak as the mood turned bearish after coronavirus cases continued to surge and some countries reimposed lockdown measures to curb the spread of the disease.
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