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US stocks gain on revived stimulus talks

2020-11-20 HKT 05:26
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  • Aides to top US lawmakers met to again discuss passing another spending bill after months of stalemate on a package to support the coronavirus-ravaged US economy. Photo: Shutterstock
    Aides to top US lawmakers met to again discuss passing another spending bill after months of stalemate on a package to support the coronavirus-ravaged US economy. Photo: Shutterstock
Wall Street stocks snapped a two-session skid on Thursday as optimism over revived US stimulus talks countered worries about higher coronavirus cases.

The Dow Jones added 0.2 percent at 29,483.

The S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent to 3,581, while the Nasdaq jumped 0.9 percent to 11,904.

Aides to top US lawmakers met to again discuss passing another spending bill after months of stalemate on a package to support the coronavirus-ravaged US economy.

That helped shift attention from the coronavirus as the US added more than 170,000 new Covid-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans against travelling for the Thanksgiving holiday next week in light of the worsening outbreak.

Some states have begun to reimpose restrictions, but "Covid-fatigue" and public resistance makes extreme lockdowns unlikely, said economist Joel Naroff.

"We will not be facing anything like what happened in the spring," Naroff said in a note. "Nevertheless, the steps to reduce virus cases, hospitalisations and deaths are likely to cause workers to be laid off, unemployment claims to rise and long-term unemployment, which is already rising, to increase even faster."

US data was mixed, with jobless claims rising more than expected but existing home sales growing more than estimated.

Among individual companies, Macy's gained 2.0 percent as the retailer reporter a smaller-than-expected loss. But comparable sales fell 21 percent as Covid-19 continued to dent performance.

General Motors climbed 0.3 percent as it announced it will boost investment in electric and autonomous vehicle technology by US$7 billion through mid-decade as it accelerates a technology race with Tesla and other automakers. (AFP)