Stock market news live updates: Stocks end lower as lawmakers inch toward stimulus deal

Emily McCormick
·Reporter
·6 min read

Stocks traded choppily before ending lower, as investors considered whether lawmakers would manage to pass a stimulus package sometime this week.

[Click here to read what’s moving markets heading into Thursday, Oct. 22]

The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq traded lower Wednesday afternoon after fluctuating between gains and losses throughout the session. Shares of Netflix (NFLX) tumbled by more than 6%, after the company reported third-quarter new subscribers that missed an already low bar for expectations, as growth decelerated further following a strong surge in sign-ups earlier on during the pandemic.

Snap (SNAP), on the other hand, surged more than 25% to a record high. The company posted its best quarterly growth in subscribers and sales in three years, as users engaged heavily with Snapchat’s newer augmented reality features and advertiser dollars flowed back to the platform. Companies including Tesla (TSLA) and Chipotle (CMG) are set to report after market close on Wednesday.

And elsewhere, Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) investors continued to shake off regulatory concerns after the Department of Justice formally filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company on Tuesday. Shares rose more than 1.5%, outperforming the broader market.

White House Chief of Staff Market Meadows said on Fox Business Wednesday that officials on both sides of the aisle “share one goal, and that is hopefully to get some kind of deal in the next 48 hours or so.”

A day earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Bloomberg TV she was “optimistic” about progress being made in talks with the Trump administration, and agreed to keep discussing a deal past her original Tuesday deadline.

Still, however, questions remained over whether the Republican-controlled Senate would vote to advance any deal, even if House Democrats and the Trump administration were able to come to one in the near term. Republican Senators have so far balked at the high dollar amounts both House Democrats and the White House have been pushing for, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters including Reuters on Tuesday that he would “consider” a larger deal. Senate Democrats on Wednesday voted to block Republicans’ proposed $500 billion stimulus bill through their chamber, with Democratic lawmakers pushing for a multi-trillion-dollar package.

1:03 p.m. ET: Stocks end lower as dimming stimulus prospects whipsaw markets

Here were the main moves in markets as of 1:03 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -7.64 (-0.22%) to 3,435.48

  • Dow (^DJI): -98.10 (-0.35%) to 28,210.69

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -31.80 (-0.28%) to 11,484.69

  • Crude (CL=F): -$1.65 (-3.96%) to $40.05 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$12.20 (+0.64%) to $1,927.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.9 bps to yield 0.8160%

12:30 p.m. ET: Stocks struggle for direction with talks in Washington ongoing

The three major indices fluctuated between modest gains and losses Wednesday afternoon, with traders looking for signs of whether or not a stimulus deal out of Washington might come to fruition. Mixed earnings results from names including Netflix, Snap, Verizon and Abbott Laboratories also were in focus.

The S&P 500 ticked up 4 points, or just over one-tenth of a percent, as of around 12:30 p.m. ET. The Dow dropped about 20 points, or 0.09%, with shares of Goldman Sachs and American Express leading to the downside. The Nasdaq ticked up slightly.

9:36 a.m. ET: Stocks open mixed amid earnings, stimulus bets

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:36 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +2.69 points (+0.08%) to 3,445.81

  • Dow (^DJI): -32.10 points (-0.11%) to 28,276.69

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +37.1 points (+0.32%) to 11,554.67

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.84 (-2.01%) to $40.86 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$13.10 (+0.68%) to $1,928.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +2.1 bps to yield 0.818%

9:21 a.m. ET: Abbott Laboratories raises guidance as COVID-19 tests boost results; Biogen outlook disappoints amid generic competition

Health-care company Abbott Laboratories (ABT) grew quarterly sales 10% over last year to nearly $9 billion and raised its profit guidance for the year, as demand for the company’s COVID-19 tests boosted overall results.

Sales in the company’s diagnostics unit, which houses coronavirus tests, grew nearly 39% during the quarter to $2.6 billion. COVID-19 tests alone brought in $881 million in sales, with the company’s 15-minute rapid test having received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August. Full-year adjusted earnings should come in at at least $3.55 per share, up from the company’s previous guidance of at least $3.25 per share.

Biogen (BIIB), on the other hand, disappointed in its outlook for the full-year, and said revenue will likely come in at as much as $13.4 billion, down from the $14.2 billion seen previously. Biogen’s saw a 15% drop in third-quarter sales of its multiple sclerosis treatment Tecfidera due to generic competition, and its outlook “assumes significant erosion of Tecfidera in the fourth quarter.”

9:13 a.m. ET: Verizon raises full-year profit guidance as 3Q new wireless subscribers top estimates

Verizon (VZ), the parent company of Yahoo Finance, posted third-quarter earnings and new wireless subscribers that topped expectations, as customers continued seeking out the carrier’s services during the pandemic.

Third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $1.25 were better than the $1.22 expected, even with a 5-cent per share impact due to Covid-19 related impacts. Operating revenue of $31.5 billion was slightly below the $31.6 billion expected, and fell 4% over last year. Wireless postpaid net additions totaled 553,000, well above the 475,000 estimate, according to Bloomberg data.

Verizon said it now expects total wireless service revenue growth of at least 2% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to last year. It also raised its full year adjusted earnings per share guidance to a range of flat to up 2%, versus down to up 2% previously expected

7:20 a.m. ET: Wednesday: Stock futures edge lower

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:20 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,428.25, down 4 points or 0.12%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 28,125.00, down 57 points or 0.2%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,645.00, down 15.75 points or 0.14%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.73 (-1.75%) to $40.97 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$6.90 (+0.36%) to $1,922.30 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.9 bps to yield 0.806%

6:01 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures point higher

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:01 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,440.00, up 7.75 points or 0.23%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 28,197.00, up 15 points or 0.05%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,676.5, up 15.75 points or 0.14%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 20, 2020 in New York City. Trading on the floor will temporarily become fully electronic starting on Monday to protect employees from spreading the coronavirus. The Dow fell over 500 points on Friday as investors continue to show concerns over COVID-19.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 20, 2020 in New York City. Trading on the floor will temporarily become fully electronic starting on Monday to protect employees from spreading the coronavirus. The Dow fell over 500 points on Friday as investors continue to show concerns over COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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