Stocks fall on Wall Street as coronavirus spreads in Europe

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By ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer

Stocks are falling on Wall Street in afternoon trading Thursday, extending the market’s pullback this week as optimism that Congress will deliver another round of stimulus for the economy wanes and new data show another weekly surge in the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid.

The S&P 500 was down 0.4%. The benchmark index is now on track for its first weekly loss in three weeks. Technology, communications and health care stocks accounted for much of the selling, outweighing gains in banks, real estate and other sectors. The pullback follows a broad sell-off in markets overseas as rising infections in Europe led governments in France and Britain to impose new measures to contain the coronavirus. Treasury yields were mixed, while the price for U.S. crude oil also headed lower.

Stocks have been mostly climbing this month, but have pulled back this week as talks between Democrats and Republicans in Washington over another economic stimulus package drag on, dimming investors’ hopes for a deal that can deliver more aid for the U.S. economy in the near term.

“The stimulus talk continues to be a little negative, and the virus outbreak in Europe…


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