Stocks Close Higher Following News Of Debt Limit Deal

Stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Wednesday following the sell-off seen in the previous session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fluctuated as the day progressed but managed to close moderately higher.

The major averages ended the day in positive territory but off their highs of the session. The Dow climbed 54.33 points or 0.3 percent to 21,807.64, the Nasdaq rose by 17.74 points or 0.3 percent to 6,393.31 and the S&P 500 advanced 7.69 points or 0.3 percent to 2,465.54.

The rebound on Wall Street came following news President Donald Trump agreed to support a measure that would raise the debt ceiling and fund the government for three months.

The short-term debt limit and government funding measure would be attached to a bill providing aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a statement announcing the agreement on the combined bill after meeting with Trump.

The statement by Pelosi and Schumer came even though House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., attacked the idea of a short-term debt limit increase just hours earlier.

Speaking to reporters, Ryan described a Democratic plan to combine a Hurricane Harvey aid package with a short-term debt limit increase as “ridiculous and disgraceful” as well as “unworkable.”

Trump confirmed the agreement in remarks to reporters aboard Air Force One as he traveled to North Dakota for a tax reform event.

On the U.S. economic front, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing a rebound in the pace of growth in service sector activity in the month of August.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index climbed to 55.3 in August after falling to 53.9 in July, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector. Economists had expected the index to rebound to 55.8.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed the trade deficit came in slightly wider in the month of July.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $43.7 billion in July from a revised $43.5 billion in June. Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $44.6 billion.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, which said economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across all twelve districts in July and August.

Sector News

Computer hardware stocks saw considerable strength on the day, resulting in a 1.8 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index. With the gain, the…

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