US stocks rise on stimulus hopes

By CNN Business

Updated 9:35 a.m. ET, October 6, 2020
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1:15 p.m. ET, September 30, 2020

'Focus on the policy and not the politics,' strategist says

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The election is approaching fast, with the presidential debates kicking off with a bang last night -- and investors are looking for clues about how to get through the end of the year.

Samantha Azzarello, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, suggested investors should focus on policy, not politics. Looking at it that way, she noted, there are actually some similarities between the candidates.

"We would say right now the Democrats and the Republicans are both hawkish on China," Azzarello said on the CNN Business digital live show Markets Now. "Also, there's some agreement on infrastructure spending."

The points of disagreement are tax, regulation and energy policy, she added.

The market isn't pricing in a blue wave as much any more as it has before, Azzarello said. A lot will come down to the House and Senate races as well, because that will decide how the next administration can execute its policies.

"If there's a contested election it will not be good for markets because there will be uncertainty," she added.

12:26 p.m. ET, September 30, 2020

'The stock market doesn't seem too upset at the prospect of Biden winning,' says ex-Goldman Sachs CEO

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Well that got snarky...

Former Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein clearly doesn't think there's much to President Donald Trump's claim that the stock market will sell off if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election in November.

Stocks' long-term performance is historically better under Democratic administrations.

On top of that, Wall Street appears staunchly in the Biden camp, hoping that a steadier path ahead can offset higher taxes and increased regulation.

11:58 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020

Another 850,000 initial jobless claims expected tomorrow

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Friday's jobs report will be the main data point of the week for the labor situation, but before that we'll get jobless claims data from the Labor Department tomorrow at 8:30 am ET.

Economists expect another 850,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits on a seasonally adjusted basis last week. That would only be 20,000 fewer claims than in the week before.

Continued claims, which count workers who have filed for benefits for at least two consecutive weeks, are expected at 12.2 million, down from 12.6 million in the prior week.

Once again, these expectations are showing us that experts think the recovery is running out of steam.

10:27 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020

Dow rallies 375 points

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Less than an hour into the trading day, stocks are sharply higher, with the Dow up 375 points, or 1.4%.

The S&P 500 climbed 1% as well, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.1%.

So what pushed the market up so much after we started the day more muted?

For one, economic data has been looking good today, so that's helped. But perhaps more importantly, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shored up hopes for another stimulus deal, saying "we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done" in an interview with CNBC.

This may have alleviated investors' worries from last night's debate, which didn't help instill faith that a deal would be reachable, according to JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.

10:01 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020

Mnuchin on stimulus: 'We're going to give it one more serious try'

From CNN's Betsy Klein

US stocks climbed amid rising optimism for further fiscal stimulus. Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin said he will speak with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later Wednesday afternoon to deliver a response stimulus proposal he described as “very reasonable” and “very similar” to the previously-released proposal from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. 

“We’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” Mnuchin said during an appearance at a CNBC investor conference on Wednesday morning.

He again listed PPP, money for schools, economic impact payments, back to work credits, retention credits, and more money for the airlines as areas of agreement, later adding that he’s been speaking with airline CEOs on a “constant basis” and will give them an update following his conversation with Pelosi.

Mnuchin described his relationship with Pelosi as “all business,” and said they are effective at communicating together. He expressed hope they would reach a package.

9:33 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020

Stocks open higher

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Wall Street opened in the green on Wednesday, as investors digested the prior night's first presidential debate.

Economic data was broadly positive this morning, with the ADP employment report coming in better than expected (and better than the month before) and the second quarter GDP catastrophe revised up to be slightly less terrible.

9:21 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020

Another look at GDP shows Q2 was ever-so-slightly less terrible ... but still really bad

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The Bureau of Economic Analysis published its third look at US gross domestic product -- the broadest measure of the economy -- this morning and revised just how bad things were between April and June.

In a nutshell: They were ever-so-slightly better, but still really terrible on the whole.

The GDP collapse was revised to a seasonally-adjusted annualized -31.4%, from -31.7% before. This slight improvement was due to higher consumer spending.

The government updates the GDP number when more data becomes available.

The US economy was in a recession this year, defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP contractions. The first estimate of third-quarter GDP growth is due on October 29, and economists expect a sharp rebound -- which would spell the end of the technical recession, even if the economy isn't recovered fully.

8:48 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020

What we're watching: Palantir and Asana's trading debuts

From CNN Business' Julia Horowitz and Paul R. La Monica

Shares of Palantir, the secretive data analysis company, and Asana, which makes workplace software, are due to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange today.

Each is doing so by directly listing shares rather than through a more traditional initial public offering or super-trendy blank check merger. It's an unconventional method that's only been utilized by two other major companies, Spotify (SPOT) and Slack (WORK).

The market value of Palantir, which will trade under the ticker symbol of "PLTR," is expected to be in excess of $20 billion when it begins trading.

Asana, which will have the ticker "ASAN" market cap will be worth more than $5 billion.

Why go public this way? Going public via direct listing tends to be quicker and involves less scrutiny, since firms are just selling existing shares. It also allows longtime investors to cash out without a flood of new shares diluting the value of their holdings.

This could shake up the IPO market. Depending on how successful these debuts are, there could be more companies choosing to go public this way going forward — especially if private firms are given the green light to raise new money from direct listings as well, as not all startups are able to simply list existing shares. Some may want to still raise funds.

The market is watching. Once shares list, investors will closely watch how they perform in early trading. Asana, in particular, could benefit from huge enthusiasm for software companies as the pandemic drags on.

8:33 a.m. ET, September 30, 2020

ADP employment report: 749,000 jobs added in September

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

It's jobs week and investors and economists alike are anxiously awaiting Friday's report. But before we get the government numbers, we got the ADP employment report this morning, showing 749,000 jobs added in September on a seasonally adjusted basis.

This was up from only 481,000 jobs added in August. Mind you, the government jobs data looked quite different last month, with 1.4 million jobs added according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's a good reminder that the ADP number is no forecast for the jobs report.

Large businesses and medium-sized businesses added the most jobs -- 297,000 and 259,000, respectively -- the ADP report showed. Small business employment is lagging behind, which isn't a great sign for the health of the recovery.

In terms of industries, trade, transportation and utilities, as well as manufacturing, added the most jobs.

The government's jobs report is due on Friday -- economists expect 850,000 jobs added in September.