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 last-minute stimulus compromise.
  • The Trump administration lifted its proposal to $US1.8 trillion from $US1.6 trillion on Friday, inching closer to the Democrats’ preferred $US2.2 trillion size.
  • Still, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deemed the bill “one step forward, two steps back” on Saturday, and Senate Republicans have previously balked at bills larger than $US1 trillion.
  • Investors also prepared for earnings season to begin.Citigroup and JPMorgan 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 $US39.80 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 Friday when the Trump administration raised its proposal’s size to $US1.8 trillion from $US1.6 trillion. The new price tag closes the gap between each party’s respective bills.

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

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

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Still, Democrats remain unified in backing their $US2.2 trillion measure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi deemed the White House’s new offer as “one step forward, two steps back” in a Saturday letter. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi are expected to continue negotiations this week, though the odds a bill can be passed before the presidential election are dwindling.

Bringing the measure to a Senate vote will also prove difficult, as Republican lawmakers shift their focus to confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Four days of Congressional hearings for the nominee’s confirmation begin Monday morning.

Upcoming 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 the following day.

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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,” Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment product at E-Trade, said.

Monday’s uptick follows 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 multiple countries imposed new lockdown measures.

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Twilio shares leaped after the firm agreed to buy data platform Segment for $US3.2 billion. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year.

Spot gold fell as much as 0.6%, to $US1,918.44 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 $US39.80 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, sank 1.9%, to $US42.o4 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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