Stocks fell on speculation that a rally to a six-week high has outpaced prospects for a quick end to the stalemate over stimulus. Treasuries and the U.S. dollar climbed.
The S&P 500 came off session lows as giant tech companies rebounded, with both Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. holding key events. Banks slumped after JPMorgan Chase & Co. said its surprisingly-good reserve release didn’t reflect a better view of the economy and Citigroup Inc. reported a jump in costs.
Delta Air Lines Inc. tumbled as a decision to delay $5 billion in jetliner deliveries signaled weak travel demand. Johnson & Johnson sank as the drugmaker paused its late-stage study of a coronavirus vaccine.
Prospects for U.S. fiscal stimulus before Election Day dimmed on Tuesday, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding the White House revamp its latest offer and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell pushing a smaller-scale strategy Democrats have repeatedly rejected.
McConnell’s proposal to vote next week on just one provision — replenishing funds in the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses — appeared to stoke opposition even from President Donald Trump, who tweeted “Go big or go home!!”
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride in terms of communication from both sides,” said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer at Penn Mutual Asset Management. “There’s just significant uncertainty, and investors are rightly positioning for the tech sector.”
Meanwhile, Amy Coney Barrett rejected suggestions that she has pre-set views on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, as Senate Democrats began a highly anticipated interrogation aimed at portraying the Supreme Court nominee as a dire threat to health care and abortion rights.