Shares of retailers and other consumer companies fell amid fears that the U.S. would not pass a second round of stimulus relief before the presidential election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he would oppose a purported $2 trillion stimulus package under consideration by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
"McConnell has not offered any positive signals that Republicans are willing to abandon their fiscally conservative beliefs and support another couple trillion dollars in stimulus," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign-exchange brokerage OANDA Group, in a note to clients, citing Mr. McConnell's disparaging comments about Democrats' desire for a "wheelbarrow of cash" to be sent to states.
Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. reportedly grew at its fastest rate in nearly three months over the past week, with more than 60,000 new cases reported Tuesday and emerging signs that winter weather, as currently experienced in Alaska among other places, will exacerbate the spread.
Nestle shares ticked down even after the Swiss food processor posted earnings ahead of Wall Street targets. Hong Kong's flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, will cut its workforce by a quarter, laying off roughly 5,900 workers, and close a subsidiary airline as it seeks to stem losses from the impact of the coronavirus on travel.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires