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US Stocks Turn Lower Near Midday       01/25 10:46

   Stocks turned lower in late-morning trading on Monday, as investors looked 
ahead to this week's deluge of company earnings and remained concerned about 
the economic damage from a rise in coronavirus cases in some countries.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks turned lower in late-morning trading on Monday, as 
investors looked ahead to this week's deluge of company earnings and remained 
concerned about the economic damage from a rise in coronavirus cases in some 
countries.

   The S&P 500 was down 0.6% as of 11:15 a.m. Eastern after being up 0.4% 
earlier. The Nasdaq composite was down 0.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial 
Average was down 335 points, mostly due to financial companies like Goldman 
Sachs and American Express.

   Several big companies will report their results this week, including 
technology titan Apple. The iPhone maker will report its results on Wednesday 
after the closing bell. Others reporting this week include American Express, 
Johnson & Johnson, 3M and AT&T.

   Investors are weighing evidence of the economic damage of current 
coronavirus restrictions against hopes that once the pandemic comes under some 
control, economies will bounce back.

   "Vaccine breakthroughs make it likely that life will become more functional 
again at some point in 2021, resulting in higher GDP growth and more robust 
corporate earnings," Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi, 
said in a report.

   However, increasing global infections and new variants of the virus, along 
with "tightening social distancing restrictions and delays in vaccine rollouts 
in some places, all increase the near-term growth risks," he said.

   Markets have been mostly rallying recently on hopes that COVID-19 vaccines 
will lead to a powerful economic recovery later this year as daily life gets 
closer to normal. Hopes are also high that Washington will deliver another dose 
of stimulus for the economy now that the White House and both houses of 
Congress are under single control of the Democrats.

   President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion plan to send $1,400 to most 
Americans and deliver other support for the economy. But his party holds only 
the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, raising doubts about how much can 
be approved. Several Republicans have already voiced opposition to parts of the 
plan.

   The coronavirus pandemic is also worsening and doing more damage to the 
economy by the day. A UN agency said Monday that four times as many jobs were 
lost last year as in 2009, during the global financial crisis.

   GameStop, the video-game retailer that's struggling to return to 
profitability, surged another 113% as an army of smaller-pocketed, optimistic 
investors bear down on big institutional investors who think the stock has to 
fall. The stock continues to be halted for its sudden surges.

   GameStop's stock neared $160 in the morning, after sitting below $18 just a 
few weeks ago. It took off earlier this month after naming three new directors 
to its board to help speed its turnaround, including the founder of online 
pet-supply retailer Chewy. Some high-profile investors have been saying its 
stock price was too high and placed bets to profit from an eventual drop by 
"shorting" it, or borrowing shares of GameStop and selling them.

   But a cavalcade of smaller investors has been exhorting each other on the 
internet to keep the momentum rolling higher for the stock. That's pushing 
short sellers to get out of their bets, done by buying the stock, which is 
helping accelerate its momentum to the moon.

   All the while, GameStop's stock keeps rising even though it lost nearly $296 
million in the nine months through Oct. 31.

 
 
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