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* Xilinx jumps on $35 bln buyout deal from AMD
* Merck up after raising profit forecast
* Pfizer, Eli Lilly fall after results
* Indexes: Dow down 0.26%, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.47%
Oct 27 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was little changed on Tuesday
after a sharp pull back in the prior session as investors parsed
through a slew of mixed corporate earnings, while awaiting
progress on U.S. fiscal stimulus.
The blue-chip Dow was weighed down by shares of Caterpillar
Inc and 3M Co after the industrial companies
reported lower quarterly earnings.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.6% as Microsoft Corp
firmed 0.8% in the run-up to its results after the closing bell.
Apple Inc, Amazon.com, Google-parent Alphabet
and Facebook Inc, which account for about a
fifth of the S&P 500's total value, also report results this
Concerns over a rise in U.S. coronavirus cases is weighing
on the market but technology, in particular, seems the least
exposed sector, said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane
Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New
"A focus on the big technology companies may move this
market to rally despite the problems the virus is creating."
Record number of new coronavirus infections in the United
States and some European countries and an elusive fiscal
stimulus sent the three major U.S. stock indexes to near
four-week lows on Monday.
Sectors sensitive to economic growth took a hit. The S&P 500
banks index and the S&P energy sector shed
about 1% each.
Meanwhile, Wall Street's fear gauge hovered at its
highest level in nearly two months on jitters over the outcome
of the election.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump
in national polls but the race is much tighter in battleground
states which determine the election outcome.
At 9:43 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
down 71.97 points, or 0.26%, at 27,613.41, the S&P 500
was down 0.95 points, or 0.03%, at 3,400.02. The Nasdaq
Composite was up 53.17 points, or 0.47%, at 11,412.11.
Insurer American International Group Inc gained 3.3%
after its board named Peter Zaffino as chief executive officer
and approved a plan to separate the life and retirement business
from the rest of the company.
Semiconductor designer Advanced Micro Devices Inc
fell 2.8% as it agreed to buy Xilinx Inc in a $35
billion all-stock deal that will intensify its battle with Intel
Corp in the data center chip market. Xilinx shares
soared about 10.2%, while Intel shares fell 1.9%.
Merck & Co Inc gained 0.4% as it raised its
full-year earnings forecast. Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co
fell about 5% after its quarterly profit took a hit from
increased costs to develop a COVID-19 treatment.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.34-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a
1.02-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded eight new 52-week highs and one new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 10 new highs and 14 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru;
Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)