Stocks bounce on hopes of stimulus

Stocks bounce on hopes of stimulus

Stock markets opened higher Tuesday morning on hopes that Congress will strike a deal on a fifth COVID-19 relief bill before year’s end.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 188 points, or 0.6 percent, and the S&P 500 was up 27 points, or 0.7 percent.

A bipartisan group in Congress that helped revive talks for a much-needed COVID-19 relief bill to extend unemployment benefits, housing protections, and small business aid unveiled legislative text for the plan late Monday.

The group split the $908 billion bill into two parts, cleaving off two areas that remain controversial for negotiators: liability protections for businesses and $160 billion of state and local aid.

Economists say some degree of state and local aid is among the best use of stimulus funds.

Ever since a November spike following news that Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines were safe and highly effective, markets have been gyrating up and down with few significant gains or losses.

The Dow, for example, broke 30,000 for the first time the week of Thanksgiving and was trading around 30,050 Tuesday morning, having dipped above and below the threshold for nearly three weeks.