U.S. stocks fall, indices head for weekly losses as virus cases spike

U.S. stocks fell again on Friday, extending their worst weekly rout since March amid uncertainty over the presidential election, a record rise in coronavirus cases and big tech companies’ earnings.

The S&P 500 was down with 1.9 per cent in trading, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.7 per cent lower, putting them on track for their biggest weekly losses since March.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the losses, dipping more than 2 per cent.

Twitter shares slumped some 18 per cent in early trading after it reported fewer-than-expected users.

Apple tumbled after reporting a drop in iPhone sales, while Amazon fell after projecting a rise in costs, in spite of posting record third-quarter profit.

On the other hand, Google jumped after parent Alphabet reported a growth in advertising.

Friday is the last day of the final full week of trading before Tuesday’s election.

President Donald Trump is trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the polls, although the race is tighter in key swing states.

Trump has taken credit for boosting the U.S. economy prior to the pandemic and for stock prices remaining high.

The stock market dip could put a damper on his campaign messaging.

Market sentiment has also been dented by new record daily coronavirus cases in the U.S., which is nearing the 9-million mark of total infections.

Meanwhile, a new round of government relief remains nowhere in sight.

Key benefits of the nearly 3 trillion dollars in stimulus passed by Congress earlier this year have largely expired and lawmakers are stuck in a months-long deadlock.

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