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US STOCKS-Wall St drops in choppy trade as investors look for stimulus

·3 min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Weekly jobless claims dip below 800,000, but remain elevated

* Tesla rises after fifth straight quarterly profit

* Coca-Cola up after results beat

* Indexes down: Dow 0.11%, S&P 0.15%, Nasdaq 0.62% (Adds comment, details; Updates prices)

By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes swung between slight gains and losses on Thursday, as investors held out for more fiscal stimulus against the backdrop of economic data pointing to a slowing labor market recovery.

The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits last week dropped more than expected to 787,000, but remained stubbornly high as support from fiscal stimulus faded.

Trading on Wall Street this week has been dictated by a flurry of reports related to progress in the stimulus talks. The CBOE Market Volatility index rose for the eighth time in nine sessions on Thursday.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said negotiators were making progress in ongoing talks with the Trump administration for another round of financial aid.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been negotiating a relief bill near the $2 trillion mark, a prospect that faces opposition from Senate Republicans who have expressed concern about the potential impact on an already ballooning federal deficit.

"Investors are just waiting," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist CFRA Research. "They are resigned to the fact that we will not get stimulus before the election."

All eyes will be on the final presidential debate on Thursday night, where Trump will attempt to change the trajectory of the race that Democratic challenger Joe Biden seems to be leading, according to national polls.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors declined, and tech and consumer discretionary stocks fell about 1% each.

At 10:57 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 30.84 points, or 0.11%, at 28,179.98, the S&P 500 was down 5.02 points, or 0.15%, at 3,430.54. The Nasdaq Composite was down 71.53 points, or 0.62%, at 11,413.16.

Meanwhile about a fifth of S&P 500 companies have reported third-quarter results, of which 84.1% exceeded earnings estimates.

Tesla Inc climbed 1.1% after the electric-car maker reported its fifth consecutive quarterly profit on record revenue of $8.8 billion.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc fell 5.6% as it posted a drop in quarterly profit, hurt by higher beef prices, delivery costs and coronavirus-related expenses.

Among blue-chip companies, Coca-Cola Co gained 1.7% as it beat quarterly results expectations, while chemicals maker Dow Inc fell 1.5% even as it surpassed quarterly profit estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1.14-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.06-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 15 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 36 new highs and 21 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)