ASX set to fall; Wall Street waits on stimulus

Wall Street’s main indexes have had a volatile day of trading on Wednesday (US time) as investors closely tracked ongoing negotiations in Washington related to the coronavirus stimulus package.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hoped to resolve the “appropriations piece” of the aid bill later in the day.

It has been a choppy session on Wall Street.
It has been a choppy session on Wall Street.Credit:AP

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are also scheduled to hammer out details of the relief package, that could be in the range of $US2.2 trillion ($3.1 trillion), later on Wednesday.

In mid-afternoon trade, the Dow Jones is flat, the S&P 500 has added 0.1 per cent and the Nasdaq is flat. Despite the soft lead, ASX futures at 5.09am AEDT are pointing to a loss of 60 points, or 1 per cent, at the open for the Australian sharemarket.


Senate Majority Leader McConnell does not want to bring a large coronavirus aid bill to the Senate floor before the election, a senior Republican aide said.

“There is no clarity whether even if they come to an agreement, it would get through the Senate with Senate Leader McConnell,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital in New York.

Wall Street’s fear gauge touched a one-month high earlier on Wednesday as the US election campaign enters its final stretch.

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will face off in their second and final debate on Thursday night where Trump will attempt to change the trajectory of a race that Biden is leading, according to national polls.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with consumer discretionary stocks weighing the most on S&P 500.

Snap surged 33.1 per cent after the Snapchat messaging app owner beat user growth and revenue forecasts, as more people signed up to chat with friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results boosted the shares of social media companies Facebook and Twitter, which were up 4.9 per cent and 8.1 per cent, while image sharing company Pinterest gained 9.6 per cent.

Gains in Facebook and a 2.7 per cent rise for Google-parent Alphabet lifted the communication services sector by 1.5 per cent.

Netflix kicked off earnings from the Big Tech club, and was down 6.5 per cent after it missed expectations for subscriber growth as streaming competition increased and live sports returned to television.

Of the 84 S&P 500 firms that have reported third-quarter results, 85.7 per cent have topped expectations for earnings, according to IBES Refinitiv data.

Electric-car maker Tesla rose 1.5 per cent as investors geared up for its quarterly report after the closing bell.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.49-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.51-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and 22 new lows.


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