By Jem Bartholomew and Ben Eisen
U.S. stocks rose Thursday after economic data showed an
improving economy and investors monitored negotiations in
Washington over a fresh stimulus bill that could further support
Investors have been laser-focused on the prospect of a new wave
of U.S. fiscal stimulus, even as the prospects of a deal between
House Democrats and Senate Republicans before the Nov. 3
presidential election remains unlikely.
"It's dominating the headlines, and markets are certainly still
paying attention," said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at
The S&P 500 rose 17.93 points, or 0.5%, to 3453.49. The Dow
Jones Industrial Average climbed 152.84 points, or 0.5%, to
28363.66. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 21.31 points, or
0.2%, to 11506.01.
Investors and analysts see a new injection of stimulus as key to
reviving the U.S. economy, which is beginning to recover from its
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell
to 787,000 last week, according to data from the Labor Department,
suggesting the number of layoffs are trending lower. And sales of
previously owned homes in the U.S. rose to a new 14-year high in
September, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.
Still, with the effects of the last round of stimulus fading,
some investors are preparing for the economy to plateau.
"As much as the data was good, I think we may see a little bit
of a short-term sag in economic momentum in the fourth quarter,"
said Dave Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private
Investors largely agree that more stimulus is coming at some
point soon. "It would seem likely whoever wins that there'll be
some form of fiscal stimulus in the next few months," said Tristan
Hanson, multiasset fund manager at M&G Investments. "That seems
to be the mood music."
Shares in beaten-down airlines, which could benefit from a
stimulus package, rallied Thursday. Delta Air Lines rose $2.22, or
7%, to $33.72. Southwest Airlines added $2.09, or 5.2%, to $41.93.
Airline executives said they are seeing tentative signs that
consumers are traveling again, though the companies posted big
losses in the third quarter.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings jumped $5.42, or 6.1%, to $94.39. MGM
Resorts International rose $1.21, or 5.7%, to $22.62.
Corporate earnings also lifted shares of individual companies.
Tesla rose $3.15, or 0.7%, to $425.79, after the electric-car maker
reported its fifth consecutive quarter of profits after years of
Shares of AT&T rose $1.56, or 5.8%, to $28.28, after the
telecommunications company reported a third-quarter loss that
missed expectations but revenue that beat forecasts.
Coca-Cola shares added 69 cents, or 1.4%, to $50.68, after
third-quarter revenue beat expectations.
Align Technology, the S&P 500's best performer, jumped
$117.42, or 35%, to $453.23, after the maker of Invisalign teeth
aligners reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. It
said dentist and orthodontist offices were reopening after
Investors will also be watching for any surprises when the
president and Democratic nominee Joe Biden meet Thursday night for
the final debate before the election.
"If something big happens it could certainly be a big issue in
the markets tomorrow morning," but the likelihood is low, said Mr.
Hunter of Capital Economics.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1%. The
U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2% after the government set additional
support for companies affected by new coronavirus restrictions.
Europe has been struggling with a surge of new Covid-19 cases and
fresh restrictions that threaten the region's economic rebound.
In Asia, stocks fell. Japan's Nikkei index dropped 0.7%, and
China's Shanghai Composite nudged down 0.4%.
In commodity markets, Brent crude, the international benchmark
for oil, rose 1.7% to $42.46 a barrel. Gold prices dropped 1.2% to
close at $1901.10 a troy ounce.
Write to Ben Eisen at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2020 17:04 ET (21:04 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
From Nov 2020 to Dec 2020
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