Stocks turned lower in intraday trading on Monday as Wall Street monitored signs of progress on a U.S. stimulus package before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
House Democrats and the White House are expected to meet later Monday.
After weekend negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a deadline of Tuesday for settling on terms of a relief package if there is any hope of sealing an agreement 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.
However, opposition to a large stimulus package--President Donald Trump has said he's willing to go above $2.2 trillion--still exists in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Top of mind, as it has been for months, however, was the continued rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe as well as the United States. Jim Cramer said investors should focus on stocks that benefit from the "new normal" stay-at-home environment, including semiconductors and shipping stocks. "When you have more COVID, you buy the COVID stocks," Cramer said.