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Wall Street falters on prospects of another government shutdown


By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks gave up early gains and were struggling for direction on Monday, as investors weighed the possibility of another partial government shutdown and trade talks between the world's two largest economies resumed in Beijing.

Top Democratic and Republican negotiators on border security funding were scheduled to meet later in the day in a bid to reach a deal by a Friday deadline set by to find a compromise.

"There is a looming threat of another shutdown, because if we go into another shutdown, it could last even longer than the previous one," said Matt Lloyd, chief investment officer, Asset Management in Monument,

"Markets won't make a significant move in one direction until they can gauge where we stand on trade or the government shutdown."

China's upbeat tone on trade talks and Kellyanne Conway's bullish comments on a possible deal helped the three indexes open higher.

The gains soon evaporated as the fell 0.21 percent, pressured by a more than 1.5 percent drop in the shares of UnitedHealth Group, and The stocks were also the biggest drags on the blue-chip Dow index.

The trade-sensitive industrials sector held on to gains and were last up 0.59 percent, the most among the 11 S&P sectors, boosted by Caterpillar Inc's 1.01 percent rise.

At 12:42 p.m. ET, the was down 18.00 points, or 0.07 percent, at 25,088.33. The S&P 500 was up 3.39 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,711.27 and the Composite rose 21.36 points, or 0.29 percent, to 7,319.56.

The benchmark S&P index is about 15 percent higher than its December lows, helped in part by a dovish Federal Reserve and largely upbeat earnings reports.

About 71 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported fourth-quarter earnings have topped estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. But analysts' estimates for first-quarter earnings have turned negative for the first time since 2016.

Among other stocks, gained 5.1 percent, the most among S&P 500 companies, after analysts were upbeat about a strong start to the videogame publisher's newly launched rival to "Fortnite".

Rivals fell 3.1 percent and Activision Blizzard Inc, due to report results on Tuesday, dropped 5.7 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.77-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.62-to-1 ratio on the

The S&P index recorded 31 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the recorded 55 new highs and 15 new lows.

(Reporting by and in Bengaluru; Editing by and Sriraj Kalluvila)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 23:56 IST