• The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJI rose 329.04 points, or 1.2%.
  • The S&P 500 SPX gained 27.53 points, or 0.83%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite IXIC added 82.26 points, or 0.74%.

US stocks ended higher on Wednesday despite the mixed sentiment surrounding further emergency COVID-19 relief stimulus. 

Government leaders continued talks for a new pandemic relief package but to no avail. 

Late comments from Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both expressed hope, but  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the sides remained “far apart” in their talks.

Consequently, there was a last-hour chop on an otherwise steadily bullish session for the benchmarks, supported by positive data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 329.04 points, or 1.2%, to 27,781.,  the S&P 500 gained 27.53 points, or 0.83%, to 3,363 and the Nasdaq Composite put up 82.26 points, or 0.74%, to 11,167.51.  

US data keep hopes alive

US data was positive. 

The National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales headline rose 8.8%, hitting a record high for the report, after a 5.9% increase in July, the group said Wednesday vs an expected rise of just 3.2%.

The September Chicago Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was higher-than-expected at 62.4, the highest since December 2018, against 51.2 in August. The headline was expected at 52.

The final Q2 gross domestic product headline showed a 31.4% contraction rate versus a final Q1 contraction rate of 0.5%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday. The headline was expected to show a 31.7% contraction.

Lastly, and before the much anticipated Nonfarm Payrolls on Friday, the September ADP private payrolls headline beat expectations, gaining 749,000 following an upward revision to 481,000 in August. The consensus was for a 648,000 headline increase.

The services sector showed an increase of 552,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector rose 196,000.

“In September, the majority of sectors and company sizes experienced gains with trade, transportation and utilities; and manufacturing leading the way,” ADP Research’s Ahu Yildirmaz explained. “However, small businesses continued to demonstrate slower growth.”

In a last note on stimulus, ”there is little doubt that as momentum in the labour market recovery cools, the additional stimulus will be needed”, analysts at ANZ bank argued, adding:

”Overnight, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin suggested he’ll offer up a proposal for USD1.5tn in pandemic aid in “one more serious try” at getting a deal through Congress.

Democrats prefer a USD2.2tn relief package and are taking that to a House vote – that’s a considerably smaller package than their USD3.4tn package that was rejected by Republicans in May. So the gap is closing – but the election is looming.

Mnuchin said he would know if a deal is possible before the election within the next day or so.”

SP 500 levels