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US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow snap four-day winning streak as J&J vaccine worries weigh

Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan
·3 min read

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Apple expected to launch four new iPhone models at virtual event

* Amazon up as two-day 'Prime' shopping event gets underway

* Disney jumps as it restructures its media business

* Indexes: Dow down 0.5%, S&P slips 0.4%, Nasdaq up 0.1% (Adds comment, details updates prices)

By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan

Oct 13 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 indexes fell on Tuesday after a four-day winning streak as a pause in Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine trial spurred concerns about a full economic rebound from the coronavirus-led downturn.

Johnson & Johnson shed 2.3% as it said it would take "a few days" to review its halted clinical trial following an unexplained illness in a study participant, possibly delaying one of the most closely watched efforts to contain the global pandemic.

The S&P healthcare index slipped from a record high hit in the prior session and weighed on broader markets as vaccines are seen critical to stopping the pandemic, which has sunk the economy to its worst recession in decades.

Some of the worst-hit companies due to the pandemic - cruise line operators Carnival Corp, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and hotel operator Wynn Resorts Ltd - were among the top decliners on the S&P 500.

The J&J news is "an excruciating reminder of the difficulties that the coronavirus has brought on the economy," said Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of private equity firm Patriarch Organization.

Adding to the negative tone, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected President Donald Trump's latest offer on COVID-19 stimulus, the latest sign that a bipartisan deal on coronavirus relief remains unlikely ahead of the November election.

Hopes of more U.S. fiscal aid and a rally in tech heavyweights led stocks higher on Monday, bringing the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq within 2% of their record highs hit in September after a pullback last month.

Apple Inc slipped 0.6% ahead of a virtual event starting 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) where it is widely expected to unveil four new iPhones.

Shares of Amazon.com Inc, which have already surged 86% this year, added 1% as it began 48 hours of promotions as part of "Prime Day" in an early start to the holiday shopping season.

Kicking off third-quarter earnings season, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup surpassed analyst estimates for quarterly profit on a surge in trading revenue. However, their shares fell 1.5% and 3.9%, respectively.

Bank stocks shed 2.3%. The index has widely underperformed the S&P 500 in 2020 and analysts expect the sector's earnings to take years to make a full recovery as interest rates remain near record lows.

Overall, analysts expect third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 firms to slide 19.6% from a year earlier, smaller than a 31% tumble in the prior quarter.

At 10:52 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 128.82 points, or 0.45%, at 28,708.70, the S&P 500 was down 15.19 points, or 0.43%, at 3,519.03, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 9.72 points, or 0.08%, at 11,885.98.

Walt Disney Co jumped 4.4% as it restructured its media and entertainment businesses to accelerate growth of Disney+ and other streaming services.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.88-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.85-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 27 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 66 new highs and seven new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengalurua and Shivani Kumaresan; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)