Benchmarks closed slightly lower on Wednesday as investors continued to look for signs of progress on a new fiscal stimulus deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 97.97 points, or 0.4%, to close at 28,210.82 and the S&P 500 shed 7.56 points, 0.2% to close at 3,435.56. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 11,484.69, declining 31.80 points or 0.3%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 2.4%, to close at 28.65. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones for 1.87-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.69-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored decliners. How Did the Benchmarks Perform? Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, only the consumer staples and communication services sector closed in the green. The energy and industrials sectors were the highest decliners falling nearly 2% and 1% on Wednesday. Among the worst-performing Dow members were The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. ( GS Quick Quote GS - Free Report) and The Boeing Company ( BA Quick Quote BA - Free Report) that closed 2.5% and 2% lower, respectively, and in turn overshadowed a 5.8% gain in The Travelers Companies, Inc. ( TRV Quick Quote TRV - Free Report) . Despite the decline in major benchmarks, big tech firms closed higher for the day. A 28.3% jump in Snap Inc.’s ( SNAP Quick Quote SNAP - Free Report) shares pushed the stock to an all-time high and lifted other tech giants to close higher on Wednesday. Shares of Facebook, Inc. ( FB Quick Quote FB - Free Report) , Twitter, Inc. ( TWTR Quick Quote TWTR - Free Report) and Alphabet Inc. ( GOOGL Quick Quote GOOGL - Free Report) advanced 4.2%, 8.4% and 2.3%, respectively. Overall, the S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 55 new highs and 36 new lows. Negotiations on a New Fiscal Stimulus Deal Continues House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued their negotiations on a new fiscal stimulus package on Wednesday. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that Pelosi and Mnuchin have made “good progress” on stimulus talks, however, they “still have a ways to go” before an agreement is reached. In a MSNBC interview, Pelosi said she hoped both sides can resolve the “appropriations piece” of the package later in the day. She also said that there was still a chance for a deal despite resistance from the Senate controlled Republicans. However, she also acknowledged that it might not pass until after the election. Q3 Earnings Report in Focus As of Oct 21, 84 members of the S&P 500 has come out with Q3 earnings and total earnings are down 11.1% from the same period last year on 2.5% lower revenues, with 86.9% beating EPS estimates and 81% beating revenue estimates. ( Read More) Tech giant Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX Quick Quote NFLX - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2020 earnings on Oct 21, after closing bell. Shares declined 6.9% on Wednesday, after reporting earnings of $1.74 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 18.3% and the company’s guidance of $2.09. The streaming giant added 2.2 million paid subscribers globally, which missed its guidance of 2.50 million paid-subscriber addition and declined 67.5% year over year. ( Read More) Netflix is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Snap also release reported third-quarter 2020 earnings after Tuesday’s closing bell. The company came out with earnings of a penny per share in contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 6 cents. Additionally, revenues jumped 52.1% from the year-ago quarter to $678.7 million, beating the consensus mark by 22.7%. The company had 249 million daily active users (DAU) at the end of the reported quarter and this growth was broad based with year-over-year and sequential growth in both iOS and Android platforms. ( Read More) Among the companies reporting earnings during trading hours on Wednesday was Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ( TMO Quick Quote TMO - Free Report) . The company reported third-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of $5.63 per share, which beats the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.37. The COVID-19 led business expansion and the company’s base business growth contributed to the bottom-line performance. ( Read More) Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better.
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