Stocks slide as stimulus talks wear on


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A Wall Street slide Monday to start the week as nervous investors lock in outsized gains in high-flying tech names like Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

Uncertainty over the state of lingering stimulus talks in Washington didn't help the mood.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism that a deal could be reached before the November election but gave an ultimatum - the deal has to be reached by Tuesday to give time for lawmakers to vote before heading to home districts ahead of Election Day.

The Dow swung to a 410-point loss, erasing a triple-digit daily gain. The S&P 500 dropped 56 points. The Nasdaq fell nearly 200 points in its fifth straight losing session.

Wall Street's fear gauge spiked as the health crisis worsens and as the election campaign kicks into its final stretch.

Investors, however, should not be making any big money moves until the vote tally is clear, warns Amy Kong of Barrett Asset Management.

"In general, the elections, as well as the fact that COVID cases are rising again, is causing a lot of choppiness in the market today. I would say in general, I wouldn't be transitioning client portfolios in a very dramatic way without knowing who's going to be the leader of the White House in the next four years and also what the policies will look like. I think it seems premature to be making dramatic changes based on election assumptions at this point."

In earnings news, IBM beat sales forecast thanks to higher demand for cloud computing services. Profits were in-line with forecasts. This was IBM's first results since announcing it was spinning off its cloud computing business.

Oil services company Halliburton posted its fourth straight quarterly loss as oil demand continues to get whacked by the health crisis.

And sticking with energy: ConocoPhillips agreed to buy Concho Resources, a U.S. shale oil producer, for $9.7 billion.