After another volatile session, U.S. stocks ended Thursday in the green, hoping for a deal in Washington on a new plan to support the U.S. economy. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that a deal was “almost” reached with the White House, even though a vote on the bill before the November 3 election now seems difficult. On the corporate side, the day’s results were rather well received, notably those of Tesla, AT&T and Coca-Cola.
At the close, the Dow Jones index gained 0.54% to 28,363 points, while the broad index S&P 500 advanced 0.52% to 3,453 points, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.19% to 11,506 points. By sector, the energy index led the rise, in the wake of the rebound in oil prices, with a gain of 4%, after a fall of 2% the previous day. Financials rose by 1.8% and health values by 1.5%. On the downside, we find technology (-0.5%), real estate (-0.7%) and basic consumer goods (-0.2%).
With less than two weeks to go until the November 3 presidential election, investors are expecting little news from the second and final televised debate between Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, scheduled for Thursday evening after the markets close. The Republican president is still lagging in national polls, while the suspense is also focused on the outcome of the legislative elections that will also take place on November 3 with the complete renewal of the House of Representatives (currently The Democratic majority) and a third of the Senate, which could swing into the Democratic camp, according to some polls.
On the stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, on Thursday revived hopes for a deal, saying she was “optimistic” and even saying, “We’re almost there.” Pelosi’s comments, which have been in negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for several weeks, were shared Thursday on Twitter by ‘Politico’ reporter Jake Sherman. He also reported that the Democratic leader added: “I think both sides want to reach an agreement. I cannot answer for the disarray on the Senate side.”
Even if an agreement is reached with the White House, however, it seems very unlikely that a text can be drafted and voted on before the election. In the Republican-dominated Senate, Republicans are reluctant to widen the deficit by voting on a broad “package” to support the economy.
Democrats have proposed a $2,200 billion plan, and the Trump administration now appears to be approaching that amount, with a final proposal of $1,900 billion, made Wednesday. Differences still exist over the distribution of aid between states, local authorities, businesses, individuals and the health system (including the PCR testing programme). Republicans refuse to provide aid to communities and states they consider poorly managed by Democrats.