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US STOCKS-Wall Street set to rise on renewed hopes of stimulus deal

Credit: REUTERS/ISSEI KATO

Wall Street's main indexes were set to inch higher at the open on Monday on hopes of a coronavirus vaccine by the year-end, while investors were also encouraged by signs an agreement in Washington on a fiscal package could be reached soon.

By Medha Singh

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set to inch higher at the open on Monday on hopes of a coronavirus vaccine by the year-end, while investors were also encouraged by signs an agreement in Washington on a fiscal package could be reached soon.

Last week the White House proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had stuck to her demand for a $2.2 trillion aid.

Pelosi said on Sunday she wanted a bill passed before the Nov. 3 presidential election, but acknowledged an agreement would have to come within 48 hours for that to happen.

"Today, stimulus has come to the front of the conversation without question," said Tom Mantione, managing director of UBS Private Wealth Management.

"(The Republicans and Democrats) closed a $2 trillion gap to $500 billion in 6 weeks. May be in 36 hours we can close the other $500 billion."

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden will debate for a final time on Thursday with about two weeks left until Election Day.

U.S. planemaker Boeing Co's BA.N shares rose about 0.8% in premarket trading as American Airlines Group AAL.O announced plans to return its 737 Max jets to service by the end of 2020 depending on certification of the aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Wall Street's main indexes logged slight gains last week — the third in a row for the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX and the blue-chip Dow .DJI — as news that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available by November helped offset worries about the elusive federal aid bill.

After the financial sector set a mixed tone to the start of third-quarter earnings season, investors will look to results from about 91 S&P 500 companies this week including International Business Machines Corp IBM.N and Netflix Inc NFLX.O.

Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co HAL.N dipped 0.4% after posting its fourth consecutive quarterly loss as this year's slump in oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand for its services.

At 08:19 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis 1YMcv1 were up 0.64% at 28,588 points and S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 rose 0.77% to 3,488.75. Nasdaq 100 E-minis NQcv1 were up 110.5 points to 11,907 points.

Chipmaker Microchip Technology Inc MCHP.O gained about 3%following Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "overweight".

American Equity Investment Life Holding Co AEL.N dropped 9% as it said it had entered into a strategic partnership with Brookfield Asset Management Inc BAMa.TO and rejected an unsolicited acquisition proposal from Athene Holding Ltd ATH.N and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

((Medha.Singh@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2802; Twitter: https://twitter.com/medhasinghs))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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