US stocks climb as investors await signs of stimulus progress

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • US stocks climbed on Wednesday as investors waited for news on stimulus talks.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach a deal before their Tuesday deadline and now aim to finalise an agreement before the weekend.
  • Pelosi told reporters she remains hopeful a compromise can be reached. Still, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNBC both parties “still have a ways to go.”
  • Oil futures sank on reports that US crude inventories climbed more than expected. West Texas Intermediate crude sank as much as 2%, to $US40.85 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities climbed on Wednesday as investors waited for fresh updates on stimulus-deal progress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin blew past a 48-hour deadline on Tuesday and continue to iron out differences on a massive round of fiscal support. The two are slated to continue talks on Wednesday with hopes of reaching an agreement before the weekend.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNBC the administration and Democrats have made “good progress” recently but “still have a ways to go” before a deal is finalised. Pelosi told reporters on Tuesday she remains hopeful that a stimulus deal can be passed before Election Day.

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

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To be sure, disagreements on the bill are still significant. The White House recently upped its offer to a $US1.88 trillion measure, still coming in well below Democrats’ $US2.2 trillion package.

And even if a deal is reached, Senate Republicans have balked at the bills’ price tags and aren’t likely to bring either to a vote. Democrats blocked Republicans’ $US500 billion proposal in the Senate on Tuesday, leaving both parties trapped in stimulus limbo.

The tepid session follows a mild upswing in Tuesday trading after Pelosi’s encouraging remarks. Investors largely shrugged off the government’s antitrust lawsuit against Google and stayed hopes for a near-term stimulus breakthrough.

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Netflix dragged on indexes after its third-quarter report missed Wall Street expectations. Quarterly subscriber additions of 2.2 million fell below the 3.3 million estimate, and profit was similarly disappointing.

Earnings season is only getting busier on Wednesday. Companies reporting quarterly figures include Tesla,Chipotle,Verizon, and CSX.

Spot gold gained as much as 1% to 1,926.35 at intraday highs. The US dollar sank against peers, and Treasury yields climbed.

Oil futures declined on reports that US crude stockpiles increased last week.West Texas Intermediate crude sank as much as 1.6%, to $US40.80 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 2%, to $US42.31 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

A fund manager who’s doubling up the competition in 2020 tells us his strategy for investing in the ‘K-shaped’ economic recovery — and details the only 2 stocks he added as the market recovery took off

The economy will be just fine without more stimulus — but markets could sell off sharply, says one top strategist

JPMorgan says US election odds are narrowing, making a contested result that could hamper stimulus and hurt stocks more likely

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