U.S. Stocks Move Sharply Higher On Stimulus Optimism, Upbeat Data

Stocks have moved sharply higher in morning trading on Wednesday, more than offsetting the weakness seen the previous session. The major averages have all shown strong moves to the upside.

Currently, the major averages are hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 396.64 points or 1.4 percent at 27,849.30, the Nasdaq is up 124.77 points or 1.1 percent at 11,210.01 and the S&P 500 is up 36.73 points or 1.1 percent at 3,372.20.

The rally on Wall Street comes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is “hopeful” about reaching an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a new coronavirus stimulus bill.

“I say we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” Mnuchin said during the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. “I think there is a reasonable compromise here.”

Adding to the positive sentiment, payroll processor ADP released a report showing private sector employment surged up by more than expected in the month of September.

ADP said private sector employment spiked by 749,000 jobs in September after jumping by an upwardly revised 481,000 jobs in August.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 650,000 jobs compared to the addition of 428,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The National Association of Realtors also released a report showing pending home sales jumped to a record high in the month of August.

NAR said its pending home sales index spiked by 8.8 percent to 132.8 in August after surging up by 5.9 percent to 122.1 in July. Economists had expected pending home sales to increase by 3.2 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Airline stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 3.7 percent.

Significant strength is also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 2.1 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Oil service, housing and financial stocks are also seeing considerable strength, while gold stocks are among the few groups bucking the uptrend.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved lower amid the rally on Wall Street. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.7 basis points at 0.682 percent.

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