US stocks climb as revived stimulus talks trudge ahead

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • US stocks rose on Monday as Democrats and Republicans inched closer to a stimulus compromise.
  • The Trump administration on Friday lifted its proposal to $1.8 trillion from $1.6 trillion, moving toward the size of House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion bill.
  • Still, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Saturday that the offer was “one step forward, two steps back,” and Senate Republicans have previously balked at bills larger than $1 trillion.
  • Investors also prepared for earnings season. Citigroup and JPMorgan are set to kick off reporting on Tuesday.
  • Oil futures sank as operations temporarily halted by Hurricane Delta resumed. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 2%, to $39.80 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities continued to rise on Monday as investors maintained bets on a last-minute stimulus deal.

Those hoping for fresh government aid received welcome news on Friday when the Trump administration raised its proposal to $1.8 trillion from $1.6 trillion, closing the gap with House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion bill.

President Donald Trump has also reversed course from last week and pushed for a bigger bill, despite Senate Republicans balking at the cost.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Monday:

  • S&P 500: 3,502.88, up 0.7%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 28,711.21, up 0.4% (124 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 11,730.05, up 1.3%

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Still, Democrats remain unified in backing their $2.2 trillion measure. In a letter on Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the administration’s new offer as “one step forward, two steps back.” Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to continue negotiations this week, though the odds of passing a bill before the presidential election are dwindling.

Bringing the measure to a vote in the Senate would also prove difficult, as Republican lawmakers have shifted their focus to confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Four days of congressional confirmation hearings begin Monday morning.

Bank earnings are set to drive the market’s trajectory through the rest of the week. Citigroup and JPMorgan kick off third-quarter reporting on Tuesday, followed by Goldman Sachs and Bank of America on Wednesday.

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“The stimulus stalemate still looms large, though it failed to derail the market last week. And with high expectations for big bank earnings kicking off the season, we could get a clearer picture into just how far we’ve come in terms of economic recovery,” said Chris Larkin, the managing director of trading and investment product at E-Trade.

Monday’s uptick followed the market’s best week since August. Renewed stimulus hopes brought investors back to stocks, and economic indicators including weekly jobless claims showed continued — albeit slowing — improvement.

Tech stocks drove Monday’s gains as giants including Apple and Facebook surged. The sector received a boost in European trading as several countries imposed new lockdown measures.

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Twilio shares leaped after the firm agreed to buy the data platform Segment for $3.2 billion. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year.

Spot gold fell as much as 0.6%, to $1,918.44 per ounce, while the US dollar gained.

Oil traded lower as operations temporarily constrained by Hurricane Delta resumed. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 2%, to $39.80 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, sank 1.9%, to $42.o4 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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