Major Wall Street indexes jumped on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 on course for its best two-quarter gain since 2009, as investor hopes of an imminent fiscal stimulus package were rekindled, while upbeat data suggested a U.S. economic recovery was on track.
House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed hope for a breakthrough on a COVID-19 relief package as the House stood poised to vote on a new $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus bill.
All 11 major S&P indexes were up. Healthcare, consumer discretionary and financials led gains as data showed U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in September, while contracts to buy previously owned homes surged to a record high last month.
The S&P 500 is headed for its first monthly decline since the coronavirus-led crash in March after a tumultuous September in which the benchmark index and the Nasdaq tumbled from record highs as investors dumped Wall Street favourites including Apple Inc and Tesla Inc.
Moderna Inc gained 3.2% 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.
The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 23 new lows.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple rose $1.72 (+1.51%) to close at $115.81 and tacked on another $0.49 (0.42%) in after hours trading. Apple closed the session with a market value of $1.981 trillion.