Stocks Edge Higher Amid Doubts Relief Package Sealed Before Election

October 21, 2020

New York (Oct 21)  Stocks rose modestly Wednesday as the prospects for a stimulus agreement in Washington brightened but Wall Street doubted the deal could get done before Election Day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 34 points, or 0.12%, to 28,343, the S&P 500 rose 0.34% and the Nasdaq gained 0.33%.

Treasury yields jumped Wednesday and the dollar pulled back, suggesting investors expect a breakthrough in the stimulus negotiations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed some optimism that a relief package could be reached this week.

“That’s the plan. That’s what I would hope,” Pelosi said Tuesday following a phone call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The two will be speaking again Wednesday, a day after Pelosi's self-imposed deadline to agree on terms of a relief package.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox Business on Wednesday that the goal was to reach "some kind of deal in the next 48 hours or so.”

However, many Senate Republicans remain opposed to a relief package the size of what the administration has offered - $1.88 trillion - and Pelosi's proposal of $2.2 trillion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned the White House not to rush into an agreement before the election, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Report was falling 6.39% Wednesday after the streaming giant posted earnings and new subscribers that came in below analysts’ expectations.

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Snap  (SNAP) - Get Report, the parent of social media company Snapchat, soared more than 33% Wednesday after surprising Wall Street by posting an adjusted profit in the third quarter.

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Verizon Communications  (VZ) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and lifted its full-year profit forecast as it launches offers linked to Apple's  (AAPL) - Get Report first lineup of 5G smartphones.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report is expected to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell Wednesday.

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"What’s been interesting so far this earnings season is there’s been more than few compelling stories for the market to latch on to - relative strength in financials, slowing growth in big named tech companies benefiting from the stay at home economy, or the slew of jobs cuts that have been announced along the way across a variety of sectors," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade. "But the market seems to be shrugging off these narratives in favor of stimulus rumors, which so far have proven more bark than bite in terms of actually getting something done."







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