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Stocks End Lower as Talks on Stimulus Package Continue

Stocks end lower as negotiations for a coronavirus stimulus package continue.

Stocks finished lower Wednesday as negotiations for a stimulus package continued in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down almost 98 points, or 0.35%, to 28,210, the S&P 500 slipped 0.22% and the Nasdaq lost 0.28%.

Treasury yields jumped Wednesday and the dollar pulled back, suggesting investors expect a breakthrough in the stimulus negotiations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed some optimism that a relief package could be reached.

The negotiators moved “closer to being able to put pen to paper to write legislation” and left “better prepared to reach compromise on several priorities,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will talk again Thursday, CNBC reported.

"There will be a bill. It's a question of is it in time to pay the November rent, which is my goal?" Pelosi said in an earlier interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "Or is it going to be shortly thereafter, and retroactive? We're in a better place than we have been." 

Senate Democrats on Wednesday had blocked a $500 billion GOP relief bill, saying the proposal did not go far enough. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox Business on Wednesday that the goal was to reach "some kind of deal in the next 48 hours or so.”

Many Senate Republicans remain opposed to a relief package the size of what the administration has offered - $1.88 trillion - and Pelosi's proposal of $2.2 trillion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned the White House not to rush into an agreement before the election, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

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"What’s been interesting so far this earnings season is there’s been more than few compelling stories for the market to latch on to - relative strength in financials, slowing growth in big-named tech companies benefiting from the stay at home economy, or the slew of jobs cuts that have been announced along the way across a variety of sectors," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade. 

"But the market seems to be shrugging off these narratives in favor of stimulus rumors, which so far have proven more bark than bite in terms of actually getting something done."