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US stocks gain on stimulus talks, shrugging off Trump-Biden brawl

Agence France-Presse
US stocks gain on stimulus talks, shrugging off Trump-Biden brawl

The New York Stock Exchange is pictured at Wall Street in New York City on August 31, 2020. - Wall Street stocks paused near record levels early Monday ahead of key economic data later in the week, with a newly-tweaked Dow index edging lower. The final session of a heady August opened on a lackluster note as markets await employment data and updates on the manufacturing and services sectors in the coming days. About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 percent to 28,539.83. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)


Markets appear unmoved by the loud and chaotic debate between US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden

Wall Street stocks gained Wednesday, September 30, on good United States economic data and revived stimulus hopes as investors shrugged off a contentious presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.

After European equities retreated, US equities mounted a rally following upbeat comments by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that reopened the door to a potential stimulus deal with congressional Democrats.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday morning, Mnuchin said he was “hopeful” over the talks’ prospects, and that “we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done.”

“I think there is a reasonable compromise here. It’s something that the president very much wants to get done,” he said.

The gains ebbed somewhat later in the session as talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not yield a deal. But the two parties said they would keep talking.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of fiscal and monetary policies in the post-COVID world, and today’s session proved just that yet again,” said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman. “While the passionate presidential debate led to active overnight trading, the real fireworks were triggered by the treasury secretary’s stimulus-related words.”

Data showed US private sector hiring jumped by an unexpectedly big 749,000 jobs in September. Pending home sales also topped expectations.

On the negative side, Disney announced layoffs in its US division and thousands of airline workers were at risk of furlough as soon as Thursday, October 1, with the expiration of a deadline from an earlier US aid bill.

Market yawns off debate

Markets appeared unmoved by the loud and chaotic debate between Trump and Biden.

“The market didn’t learn anything it didn’t already know or think about this particular election process,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare.

“To that end, it knows and thinks that it will be a nasty fight, that polling information is informative but not necessarily gospel based on the 2016 experience, and that the outcome might not be known on election night.”

Stocks fell in London, Paris, and Frankfurt amid worries over rising coronavirus cases in parts of Europe.

Spain’s government put the city of Madrid under partial lockdown, while Italian football club Genoa demanded their match against Torino this weekend be postponed after 15 team and staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Earlier in the day, a Chinese purchasing managers index also showed improvement in both manufacturing and services in September.

But that produced only mixed results in Asia, as the persistent gloom of rising virus infections continued to dampen the mood.

Key figures around 9:15 pm GMT
  • New York – Dow Jones: UP 1.2% at 27,781.70 (close)
  • New York – S&P 500: UP 0.8% at 3,363.00 (close)
  • New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.7% at 11,167.51 (close)
  • London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5% at 5,866.10 (close)
  • Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.5% at 12,760.73 (close)
  • Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.6% at 4,803.44 (close) 
  • EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6% at 3,193.61 (close)
  • Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.5% at 23,185.12 (close)
  • Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.8% at 23,459.05 (close)
  • Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2% at 3,218.05 (close)
  • Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2919 from $1.2863 at 9 pm GMT 
  • Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.69 pence from 91.30 pence
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1723 from $1.1744
  • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.46 yen from 105.66 yen
  • West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.4% at $40.22 per barrel
  • Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.2% at $40.95 per barrel


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