Dow, S&P 500 hit new records as fiscal-stimulus hopes remain elevated

  • US stocks gained on Wednesday as investors continue to hold out hope for another round of fiscal stimulus to help hasten the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 reached new intraday records in early trading.
  • While there continues to be back-and-forth negotiations between Democrats, Republicans, and the White House, a new $916 billion proposal from the White House that includes direct stimulus checks of $600 was unveiled yesterday.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks traded higher on Wednesday as investor hope of another round of fiscal stimulus to hasten the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic remained elevated. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 reached new intraday records in early trading.

Democrats and Republicans may not be on the same page yet, but they are in the same book. Dueling proposals of a $908 billion and a $916 billion stimulus package are on the table, with the White House and Treasury Secretarty Steve Mnuchin revealing the latter package yesterday.

The $916 billion stimulus package would include direct stimulus checks worth $600, aid to state and local governments, and liability protections for businesses and schools. The one sticking point though is a significant reduction in unemployment benefits relative to the bipartisan $908 billion package unveiled last week.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the sizable slash in unemployment benefits “unacceptable,” but did note progress given that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signed off on the proposal.

FireEye stock tumbled on Wednesday after it revealed a highly sophisticated security breach by what it believes to be was a state-sponsored actor. 

Zoom Video was downgraded by JPMorgan to Neutral on Wednesday, citing a high valuation that prices in all potential upside, and the mass vaccination against the COVID-19 virus which could put a dent in its business.

Oil prices edged higher. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.4%, to $46.24 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped 1.5%, to $49.55 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Gold fell as much as 1.1%, to $1,849.26 per ounce.

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