Stocks Tick Up Thursday 10/01 15:57
U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday, but only after pinballing through another
shaky day of trading, as Wall Street waits to see if Washington can get past
its partisanship to deliver another economic rescue package.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday, but only after pinballing
through another shaky day of trading, as Wall Street waits to see if Washington
can get past its partisanship to deliver another economic rescue package.
The S&P 500 ended the day 17.80 points higher, or 0.5%, at 3,380.80, but it
careened from an early 1% gain to a slight loss before arriving there.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35.20 points, or 0.1%, to 27,816.90
after earlier bouncing between a gain of 259 points and a loss of 112. The
Nasdaq composite rose a healthier 159.00 points or 1.4%, to 11,326.51 as big
tech-oriented stocks propped up the market, much as they have through the
Such big swings have become typical recently, as investors handicap the
chances of a deal on Capitol Hill to send more cash to Americans, restore
jobless benefits for laid-off workers and deliver assistance to airlines and
other industries hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued
their talks on Thursday, but no breakthrough arrived before stock trading ended
on Wall Street. Instead, there were only hopes that were periodically raised
and dashed as government officials took turns criticizing each other.
"The market, for lack of really anything else to trade off of, has responded
to these headlines on the potential for stimulus," said Scott Wren, senior
global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
Data reports released in the morning also painted a mixed picture on the
economy, which added to the market's sloshing around.
One indicated the pace of layoffs across the country may have slowed last
week, with the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits falling to
837,000 from 873,000. It's a larger decline than economists expected, though
the number remains incredibly high compared with before the pandemic.
"We're certainly expecting the employment situation to slowly improve," Wren
said. "Things seem to be moving in the right direction."
Consumer spending also strengthened by more than expected in August, which
is key because it's the main driver of the U.S. economy. But other reports were
more discouraging. Personal incomes weakened by more than expected last month,
and growth in the country's manufacturing sector also fell short of forecasts.
Other warning signs are looming for the economy, which has seen some
slowdowns recently after the last round of stimulus approved by Congress
expired. The Walt Disney Co. and other major companies have announced even more
layoffs this week, and the clock is ticking on Washington to offer more support.
The CEO of American Airlines said that it would reverse the furloughs of
19,000 workers if Washington can reach a deal with $25 billion for airlines
"over the next few days." United Airlines told government leaders that it could
also undo the furloughs of 13,000 workers.
United Airline's stock gained 1.2%, and American Airlines shares rose 2.4%,
but only after a turbulent day of ups and downs.
Continued strength for Big Tech stocks helped to lift the market. Amazon,
Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Facebook and Google's parent company alone accounted
for the bulk of the S&P 500's gain.
The market's turbulent moves were reminiscent of Wednesday's, as well as of
the last several weeks', as rising and falling hopes for a deal on Capitol Hill
have kept markets shaky.
Investors say another round of economic aid from Congress is crucial given
the slowdowns already seen. Mnuchin and Pelosi have worked effectively together
in the past, and they helped drive through the previous economic rescue
approved by Congress in March. But the country's partisan divide has only
deepened since then, which has stymied progress. The next election is only
about a month away.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 0.67% from 0.69% from late
Wednesday after giving up earlier gains.
In Asian markets, trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was suspended due to a
technical failure in its computer systems.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange said it plans for normal trading to resume on
Friday. Officials said trading was halted early Thursday because rebooting the
huge system after the malfunction would have caused confusion.
TSE President Koichiro Miyahara repeatedly apologized for the disruption to
trading on the world's third largest exchange, where about 70% of brokerage
trading both by value and volume is by foreigners.
The outage on the exchange eclipsed Japan's main economic news of the day,
the first improvement in manufacturing sentiment in three years, despite the
Trading in stock markets for South Korea, Hong Kong and mainland China was
closed for national holidays.
In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 0.2%, and France's CAC 40 rose 0.4%. The FTSE
100 in London rose 0.2%.