On Thursday, in the expectation of a political agreement on a new strategy to help the U.S. economy to cope with the coronavirus crisis, the New York Stock Exchange resumed its rise after a hesitant start to the session. Following OPEC’s agreement to steadily increase production from January, oil rose. Against the possibility of a stimulus program that would raise U.S. government deficits, the dollar has weakened.
The three main indices went into session at all-time highs, but only the Nasdaq managed to hold on to the close. After smashing its record on November 24 (30,046 points), the Dow Jones gained 0.29 percent to 29,969 points, while the large index S&P 500 ended almost stable (-0.06 percent) with 3,666 points. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite index, rich in technology and biotech stocks, rose 0.23 percent to 12,377 points, a new record after Monday.
Investors particularly welcomed last week’s news of a decrease in the number of jobless listings in the U.S. Investors also appreciate the support of President-elect Joe Biden for a proposed $908 billion support package, tabled by a Democratic and Republican senators’ bipartisan group earlier this week.
The proposal that has yet to obtain approval from the White House will be a compromise between the $2,000 billion that Democrats have been claiming for months and the $500 billion minimum package that Republican senators have endorsed so far.
The support of Biden and other congressional Democratic leaders is a big step forward when, for months, House of Representatives Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to accept anything other than a large-scale package, and the Republicans remained concentrated on a minimalist proposal. But on Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer released a joint statement saying that the proposal should be used as a basis for immediate bipartisan negotiations in both houses of Congress.
According to the U.S. press, if all goes well then the new package, which should be implemented before Christmas, will include $300 a week for the unemployed as of December 1 for 18 weeks, as well as $240 billion in SME technological unemployment (Paycheck Protection Program), $160 billion for states and local authorities, and $51 billion to fund Covid-19 treatment and vaccine. On the other hand, as the $2,200 billion (CARES Act) initiative passed last March, it does not plan to offer direct assistance to each citizen.