Stocks finished mixed Tuesday following the S&P 500's biggest loss in a month after Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) - Get Report agreement to acquire chipmaking rival Xilinx (XLNX) - Get Report for $35 billion overshadowed a surge in coronavirus infections.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 222 points, or 0.8%, to 27,463. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3% and the Nasdaq rose 0.64%.
Stocks in the energy, industrial and financial sectors led the Dow and S&P 500 lower.
Xilinx finished up 8.6% to $124.35. AMD was down 4.1% after unveiling the acquisition and reporting third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts.
Consumer confidence came in worse than forecast in October as the U.S. saw coronavirus infections resurge and Americans worried that the outbreak could weigh on the U.S. economy. Daily U.S. cases of the virus over the past week set a record.
Merck (MRK) - Get Report finished down 1.1% Tuesday after the drugmaker posted third-quarter adjusted earnings and sales that beat analysts’ forecasts. Sales of its drugs and vaccines were higher than expected.
The weakening likelihood of a stimulus agreement from lawmakers in Washington and a surge in the coronavirus in the U.S. and across the globe sent stocks sharply lower Monday.
"We think the ability to get stimulus done is fading each day as we get closer to the U.S. election, but are reminded that volatility is expected to stay as uncertainties surrounding the path of the virus and the outcome of the election continue to weigh on investors’ minds," said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management.
"With the U.S. election next week, virus cases rising across the globe, and the lack of an agreement on stimulus in Congress, it appears market participants have shifted toward a risk-off tone."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a phone call on Monday, again failed to reach agreement on a relief package, according to a Pelosi aide.
Differences between House Democrats and the White House “have narrowed,” but “the more it narrows, the more conditions come up on the other side,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the globe has passed 43.63 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, with deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, at 1,161,422.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged to beyond 8.76 million with deaths at 226,383, the most in the world.
Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings even as demand for its industrial equipment slumped from a year earlier amid the pandemic. Caterpillar shares finished 3.2% lower.
3M (MMM) - Get Report posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales on surging sales of its health care products and equipment including respirators, as well as strong demand for consumer products like 3M stickies. The shares finished down 3.1%.
Pfizer's (PFE) - Get Report third-quarter earnings beat Wall Street estimates and the company narrowed its full-year profit forecast. Pfizer also said it still planned to apply for emergency-use authority for its coronavirus vaccine in late November. The stock slipped 1.3%.