Stocks Rise Ahead of Biden's Unveiling of Massive Spending Package

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Stocks were higher Thursday and Treasury yields rose after a report said President-elect Joe Biden could unveil a Covid-19 relief package of about $2 trillion.

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Stocks Rise Ahead of Biden’s Unveiling of Massive Spending Package

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 115 points, or 0.37%, to 31,176, and reached an intraday record high. The S&P 500 was up 0.22% and the Nasdaq rose 0.35%.

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Equities held gains even after the Labor Department reported that jobless claims rose to near 1 million last week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spur companies to shed workers.

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits last week rose to 965,000, the largest increase in claims since March.

“At a certain point tough jobs numbers like we saw (Thursday) can serve as the tinder for those calling for a correction, but the market’s view seems to be that the light at the end of the tunnel remains in sight, despite a plodding vaccination rollout,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade.

“Further, a bleaker-than-excepted jobs report translates into a greater likelihood for a full-throated stimulus package, which perversely acts as a tailwind for the market.”

Biden’s advisers recently told allies in Congress to expect a relief package price tag of about $2 trillion, CNN reported, citing two people briefed on the deliberations.

Biden is expected to announce his plans for coronavirus relief on Thursday evening. The proposal is expected to include sizable direct payments to American families, and significant state and local funding, including for coronavirus vaccine distribution, according to the report.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose to 1.093% on Thursday. Yields have been rising recently on expectations the incoming Biden administration would boost government spending, adding trillions more to the nation’s swelling debt and annual budget deficit.

Stocks finished mixed Wednesday, shortly before the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting insurrection.

It was the second time Trump has been impeached during his administration, and comes just a week before he is to leave office.

The House voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump. Ten Republican members joined Democrats in voting to impeach the president.

It remains unclear when the Senate will conduct a trial, though outgoing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republican colleagues in a letter Wednesday it won’t get underway until Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20 and Joe Biden takes office.

Delta Air Lines posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss but forecast an industry turnaround this year as vaccine rollouts accelerate and international travel restrictions are lifted later in the spring.

This article was originally published by TheStreet.

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