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Company News

US STOCKS-Wall St set to drop as tech stocks slide, COVID cases jump

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

* Twitter slumps as user growth disappoints

* Under Armour climbs as revenue forecast exceeds expectations

* Apple, Amazon, Facebook drop after results

* Alphabet rises as businesses resume ad spending

* Futures down: Dow 1.12%, S&P 1.05%, Nasdaq 1.34% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to tumble again on Friday, triggered by a selloff in tech heavyweights following their underwhelming business updates, with a record rise in coronavirus cases and nerves over the presidential election adding to a downbeat mood.

Apple Inc slid 4% in trading before the opening bell after it posted the steepest drop in quarterly iPhone sales in two years due to the late launch of new 5G phones.

Amazon.com Inc fell 1.7% after it forecast a jump in costs related to COVID-19, while Facebook Inc shed 1.5% as it warned of a tougher 2021.

Google parent Alphabet Inc, however, climbed 7% after it beat estimates for quarterly sales as businesses resumed advertising.

“Even though we had relatively sound tech earnings, the continued concerns over the uncertainty in election and surging coronavirus cases have taken hold once again,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We wouldn’t be shocked to see a bit more (trading) volume because it is the Friday before the election.”

The Dow is headed for its worst week since March as an explosion in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe and uncertainty over the outcome of U.S. election rattled investors.

Wall Street’s fear gauge held at a 20-week high ahead of the final weekend before Election Day on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has consistently trailed Democratic challenger Biden in national polls for months, but polls in the most competitive states have shown a closer race.

At 08:23 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were down 296 points, or 1.12%, S&P 500 E-minis fell 35 points or 1.05% and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 152.25 points, or 1.34%.

Third-quarter earnings season is past its halfway mark, with about 84.8% of S&P 500 companies topping earnings estimates, according to Refinitiv data. Overall, profit is expected to tumble 13.4% from a year earlier.

Twitter Inc slumped 16% after the micro-blogging site reported fewer users than expected and warned the U.S. election could impact ad revenue.

Under Armour Inc rose 6% as it forecast full-year revenue above analysts’ estimates, boosted by a surge in online demand for running shoes and other fitness gear. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva)

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