Tue, 01 Dec 2020

US stocks climb at open as stimulus deadline nears

21 Oct 2020, 04:13 GMT+10

A looming deadline for Washington policymakers to agree on a long-awaited US stimulus bill on Tuesday did not deter Wall Street traders from pushing major indices up at the open.

Shares dropped sharply on Monday, but about 40 minutes into trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.8% to 28 433.59.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.9% to 3 458.65 while the tech-rich Nasdaq rose 0.9% to 11 582.07.

Negotiations on a spending package to follow up on the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and aid the coronavirus-ravaged US economy have dragged on for months, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday gave a 48-hour deadline for negotiators to finalize a deal if it is to be passed before the November 3 election.

She is set to speak with her Republican counterpart Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin again on Tuesday, even as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has downplayed the possibility of a large package getting through his chamber.

McConnell on Monday said Senate lawmakers would vote on a more narrow, $500 billion measure to support small businesses but Democrats were sure to block the proposal.

Whatever the odds, Wells Fargo Advisors credited the upbeat sentiment to "investors (remaining) optimistic about a pre-election fiscal stimulus deal."

Meanwhile, Commerce Department data released before the market open showed housing construction grew modestly in September amid booming demand from home buyers, with residential construction rising 1.9% from August.

Single-family homes surged but weakness in multi-family unit construction held down overall growth.

Procter and Gamble shares rose 2.2% after posting better-than-expected earnings, increasing nine percent to $19.3 billion in the third quarter, well above the $18.3 billion analysts had forecast, boosted in part by pandemic-driven demand for cleaning products.

Source: News24

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