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Published: Sun, November 06, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

S&P 500 losing streak runs to 8 days as Facebook weighs

S&P 500 losing streak runs to 8 days as Facebook weighs

The Standard & Poor's 500 index took another turn lower Thursday as investors anxious that Election Day could upset the status quo in Washington and the USA economy.

The last time the benchmark index posted a seven-day losing streak was in November 2011.

Investors are rethinking their long-held bets of a Nov 8 victory for Democrat Hillary Clinton amid signs that her Republican rival Donald Trump could be closing the gap.

Investors have been unnerved by signs the USA presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is tightening, after Clinton had until recently been thought to have a clear lead.

USA stocks opened lower on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 falling for the seventh straight day as a tightening race for the White House prompted investors to seek safe-haven assets such as gold.

The energy index was down 0.74 per cent as crude oil prices fell for the fourth day after industry data showed a surprise build in U.S. stockpiles. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) jumped 4.1% to settle at 19.32.

At the same time, when the market was higher in the same three months, the ruling party won 82 percent of the time since World War II with exceptions in 1968 and 1980. As a result, it's expected to keep interest rates unchanged, though it may signal in its policy statement that a rate hike is likely at the next meeting in mid-December, as many expect.

While discounting a hike at this meeting, traders had before the statement placed the likelihood of a rate increase in December at almost 75 percent, according to the CME Fedwatch website.

The S&P 500 was down 8.68 points, or 0.41 percent, at 2,103.04.

Stocks struggle again as investors eye 2016 election
S&P 500 losing streak runs to 8 days as Facebook weighs

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.03 percent, on volume of 39,758 contracts.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the utilities index's .SPLRCU 0.66 percent fall leading the decliners.

Oil prices tumbled 3 percent after a record weekly build in US crude inventories stoked investor worries about a global supply glut.

Facebook fell 5 percent to $120.87 in premarket trading, a day after the social media giant warned that revenue growth would slow this quarter. On the Nasdaq, 1,312 issues fell and 819 advanced. Earnings for the third quarter are growing at a rate of 3.1 percent, when they were originally expected to decline, according to Thomson Reuters.

Brocade Communications was up 9.1 per cent at US$12.25 after chipmaker Broadcom said it would buy the company for US$5.5 billion. It was up another 1 percent early Wednesday.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.51-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.21-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 and the Dow futures were little changed on Thursday as investors stayed away from riskier assets, while Nasdaq futures were dragged down by a fall in Facebook's shares.

"It started with Trump and the election uncertainty, and with the decline you broke through some important levels", said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis, citing the 2,120 level on the S&P 500 that had been the lower boundary of a four-month trading range.

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