Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Stocks grind higher with focus on stimulus

Aug 05. 2020
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Brendan Walsh · BUSINESS 

U.S. equities eked out a gain as investors tried to gauge the outlook for a stimulus bill to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 Index ended 0.4% higher after wavering between small losses and gains throughout the day. Energy companies led the advance as crude climbed. Financial shares suffered as American International Group Inc. fell after posting a $7.9 billion loss. Treasurys rose. Argentina's overseas notes rallied after the government reached a $65 billion restructuring deal with creditors.

With the S&P 500 less than 3% off its pre-pandemic high, U.S. equity investors are closely monitoring efforts in Washington to negotiate a new virus relief package that many see as key to keeping the economy afloat. The pressure is building as negotiators seek to shrink the wide gap that remains between Republicans and Democrats.

"We see U.S. stocks at risk of fading fiscal stimulus," BlackRock Investment Institute strategists led by Mike Pyle wrote in a note. "U.S. employment figures are in focus this week as this fiscal cliff nears and the pandemic's spread in Sunbelt states is starting to affect economic activity."

Elsewhere, shares dipped in Europe, with Diageo Plc tumbling after bar closures sapped sales. Major indexes rose more than 1% in Japan and Hong Kong.

West Texas-grade crude oil rose past $41 a barrel after the biggest gain in almost two weeks Monday. Spot gold reached an intraday record.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

- The S&P 500 Index rose 0.4% as of 4 p.m. EDT.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1%.

- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 2%.

Currencies

- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.2%.

- The euro rose 0.3% to $1.1801.

- The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 105.67 per dollar.

Bonds

- The yield on 10-year Treasurys decreased five basis points to 0.51%.

- Britain's 10-year yield fell two basis points to 0.074%.

- Germany's 10-year yield dipped three basis points to -0.55%.

Commodities

- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.5% to $41.61 a barrel.

- Gold rose 1.8% to $2,012.38 an ounce.

- Copper fell 0.5% to $2.8965 per pound.

 

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