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Stocks Tread Water as Congress Discusses Relief

Earnings reports were a very mixed bag
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 4, 2020 3:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – Stocks ended another bumpy day on Wall Street with modest gains. The benchmark S&P 500 index climbed 0.4% Tuesday after being down as much as 0.3% earlier in the day. A mixed batch of corporate earnings news and scant progress in Congress on a new package of coronavirus relief kept trading relatively indecisive, the AP reports. Major indexes are close to their record highs after erasing most or all of their sell-off from earlier in the year. But caution is still very prevalent across other markets. Treasury yields fell, while the price of gold rose as investors sought safety. The S&P 500 rose 11.90 points to 3,306.51. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 164.07 points, or 0.6%, to 26,828.47. The Nasdaq composite added 38.37, or 0.4%, to close at another record, 10,941.17.

Energy companies made some of the largest gains. But nearly half the stocks in the S&P 500 were lower following a mixed set of earnings reports. On the winning end was Take-Two Interactive Software, which rose 4.7%. The video-game maker reported a profit for the spring that was almost double year-ago levels as customers stuck at home played Grand Theft Auto and other games instead of going outside. On the opposite end was insurer American International Group. AIG fell 7.5% for one of the larger losses in the S&P 500 even though it reported stronger results for the latest quarter than Wall Street expected. Analysts cited several unusual items that clouded its report, such as COVID-related losses, which makes it difficult to extrapolate how AIG’s profits will run from here.

(Read more stock market stories.)

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