2 min read.Updated: 30 Sep 2020, 09:31 PM ISTReuters
All 11 major S&P indexes were up, with energy also among the biggest gainers, as data showed US private employers stepped up hiring in September
US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hoped for a breakthrough on Covid-19 relief as they prepared to resume talks
Wall Street's main indexes jumped on Wednesday, led by industrials and technology-related stocks, as officials rekindled the idea of an imminent fiscal stimulus package, while upbeat data suggested a domestic economic recovery was on track.
U.S. House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hoped for a breakthrough on COVID-19 relief as they prepared to resume talks aimed at hammering out a bipartisan deal.
All 11 major S&P indexes were up, with energy also among the biggest gainers, as data showed U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in September, while the Chicago PMI reading jumping to 62.4, the highest level since December 2018.
"The market's celebrating at the margin that the economy is not falling apart quite yet," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"Pelosi and Mnuchin are (also) talking about meeting again and if we actually get (more fiscal stimulus), that'd be seen as a good thing, especially given what seems like a very troubling political backdrop right now."
The S&P 500 was headed for its first monthly decline since the coronavirus-led crash in March, with trading becoming more choppy in the past few weeks on doubts about whether President Donald Trump would accept the election's outcome if he lost.
In a chaotic and bad-tempered first debate, Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden battled fiercely over Trump's record on the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and the economy.
"The scenario that poses a significant risk is a contested result," said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta, Georgia.
Analysts said stock markets could also see quarter-end rebalancing of investor portfolios on Wednesday, as the previous session was marked by market participants booking profits after a strong start to the week.
Despite the expected weakness in September, the S&P 500 was on course for its best two-quarter winning streak since 2009 and the Nasdaq since 2000.
At 11:50 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.58% with Boeing Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc among the biggest boosts to the blue-chip index.
The S&P 500 rose 1.01% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.08%.
Heavyweight tech mega-caps including Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc rose between 0.6% and 1.7%.
Investors now await a more detailed jobs report from the Labor Department on Friday.
Moderna Inc gained 2.4% after researchers said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate produced virus-neutralizing antibodies in older adults at levels similar to those seen in younger adults in an early safety study.
Micron Technology Inc slipped 4.8% after the chipmaker said it has not yet obtained new licenses needed to sell its memory chips to China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which would cut its sales over the next two quarters.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 3.14-to-1 on the NYSE and 2.20-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 43 new highs and 19 new lows.
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