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Stock Market News for Oct 23, 2020

Stocks closed higher on Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the Democrats and the Trump administration were almost on the verge of an agreement related to a new coronavirus aid bill. Such developments led to broad-based gains for the markets and the three major benchmarks closed in the positive territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.5%, to close at 28,363.66. The S&P 500 increased 0.5% to close at 3,453.49. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 11,506.01, gaining 0.2%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 12.9% to close at 19.26. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.82-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.72-to-1 ratio favoured advancing issues.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow amassed 152.8 points to close in the green. Gains for the Dow were rather broad based. Shares of JPMorgan Chase JPM rose 3.5% and supported gains for the 30-stock index.

The S&P 500 gained 17.9 points to also end in the green. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, nine ended in positive territory, with energy leading the advancers. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) increased 4.1% on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq added 21.3 points to close in the positive territory. Shares of Intel INTC gained 0.8% and supported gains for the tech-heavy index. Intel carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Pelosi’s Comments on Coronavirus stimulus talks Boost Markets

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that a deal on the new coronavirus aid was “just about there.” Her comments cheered the investor community at large and the broader markets rose. She further stated that had there been no progress in the negotiation talks, she “wouldn’t spend five seconds in these conversations” and that “both sides want to reach an agreement.”

At the same time, Pelosi also cautioned that it might be “a while” before any coronavirus stimulus bill could be written and voted on. She further stated that the Democrats and the Trump administration have certain keys issues to reach an agreement on, which included state and local funding.

Economic Data

On the economic data front, initial jobless for the last week came in at 787,000, dropping below 800,000 for the first time since March. Meanwhile, existing home sales for the month of September came in 6.54 million units, surpassing the consensus estimate of 6.27 million units.

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