Stocks Tumble as Wall Street Monitors Stimulus Negotiations

Stocks end sharply lower Monday as Wall Street has doubts a U.S. stimulus package can be agreed upon before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
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Stocks finished sharply lower Monday as Wall Street has doubts a U.S. stimulus package can be agreed upon before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 410 points, or 1.44%, to 28,195, the S&P 500 fell 1.63% and the Nasdaq was down 1.65%.

The Dow was down as low as 467 points, or 1.6%, during the session.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were scheduled to hold a call on a fiscal-stimulus package on Monday at 3 p.m. ET, Bloomberg reported, a day before Pelosi’s deadline for a pre-election package expires.

After weekend negotiations with Mnuchin, Pelosi set the Tuesday deadline for settling on terms of a relief package before the election.

Pelosi said the 48-hour deadline from Saturday "only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do.

"We’re saying to them, we have to freeze the design on some of these things - are we going with it or not and what is the language? I’m optimistic, because again we’ve been back and forth on all this,” Pelosi told ABC News.

Opposition to a large stimulus package exists in the Republican-controlled Senate. President Donald Trump has said he's willing to go above $2.2 trillion.

Investors will be watching a flood of earnings reports this week, including from International Business Machines  (IBM) - Get Report on Monday and Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Report, Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report and AT&T  (T) - Get Report later in the week.

Third-quarter earnings estimates have improved modestly since the start of the reporting season two weeks ago. But earnings are still forecast to fall 18.7% from a year earlier.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. crossed 50,000 for a fifth day.

"While we notched another week of gains, volatility is still high and the VIX closed elevated, suggesting traders and investors alike should remain on guard as the election draws near," said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment product at E-Trade.

"This is a packed week for earnings, which will help paint a clearer picture of how our economy is faring throughout the pandemic, while also delivering near-term opportunities for traders," Larkin added. 

"We also woke up this morning to renewed hopes for a stimulus bill, fueled by an accelerated rise in new cases, which in a backwards sort of way translates into a positive for the market."