July 23, 2020 / 3:47 PM / 21 days ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500 set to snap winning streak as labor market rebound slows

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* Twitter jumps as usage soars

* Microsoft falls as cloud unit revenue growth slows

* Tesla rises after posting quarterly profit

* Indexes fall: Dow 0.53%, S&P 0.20%, Nasdaq 0.28% (Adds quote, details; updates prices)

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

July 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday following the S&P 500’s four straight days of gains as investors held out for a new coronavirus relief package, with latest data showing signs that a recovery in the labor market was stalling.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time in nearly four months against the backdrop of a resurgence in U.S. coronavirus cases, which topped 4 million across the country.

“Because of the perception that there will continue to be further commitment to the market, you’re seeing a market that is continuing forward despite a level of rationality from many savvy experienced people who think this is stone cold crazy,” said Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of the private equity firm, the Patriarch Organization.

“We are at an inflection point and given how the health conditions may impact business - which was not considered to the extent it is today - the market is on far shakier ground that investors believe.”

U.S. Senate Republicans plan to propose another round of direct payments to Americans in the next coronavirus relief bill, a senior aide said on Thursday, as the White House urged Republican lawmakers to get a $1 trillion relief package out quickly.

Optimism about a potential vaccine, fiscal stimulus and improving economic data has helped the benchmark S&P 500 recoup most of its virus-induced losses and rise 1.2% this year. The benchmark index is about 3% below from its Feb. 19 record close.

Of the 75 S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results, 77% of them have beaten dramatically lowered profit estimates, according to IBES Refinitiv data.

Microsoft Corp fell 1.9%, weighing the most on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, as its flagship cloud computing business Azure reported quarterly sales growth of under 50% for the first time ever.

Tesla Inc edged higher after posting a fourth consecutive quarterly profit, clearing a hurdle that could lead to the electric carmaker’s inclusion in the S&P 500 index .

Twitter Inc jumped 5.4% as it reported record yearly growth in daily users even as its ad sales sank.

At 11:05 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 144.19 points, or 0.53%, at 26,861.65 and the S&P 500 was down 6.69 points, or 0.20%, at 3,269.33. The Nasdaq Composite was down 30.46 points, or 0.28%, at 10,675.67.

Home builder PulteGroup Inc jumped 9.2% after posting a higher quarterly profit.

Shares of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines slipped after the carriers said they were rethinking the number of flights they had planned to add to their schedules for August and September.

The broader S&P 1500 airlines index fell 0.5%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.18-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.50-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 50 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 81 new highs and seven new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Maju Samuel)

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