(Bloomberg) —

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U.S. stocks climbed to an almost six-week high amid a rally in giant technology companies as traders awaited earnings from banks and news on a fresh round of economic stimulus.

The S&P 500 extended gains into a fourth day, while the NYSE FANG+ Index of megacap tech shares rose 2.2%. Amazon.com Inc. surged before its Prime Day event, Apple Inc. jumped as its price target was raised by RBC Capital Markets while Twitter Inc. rallied after Deutsche Bank recommended buying the stock. As lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. report their results this week, analysts expect a slight uptick in net charge-offs with some loans souring. Energy shares underperformed as oil sank below $40 a barrel. The Treasury market is closed for a U.S. holiday.

Prospects for another round of fiscal spending remain highly unsettled after President Donald Trump pulled out of talks on Oct. 6, hours after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urged lawmakers err on the side of doing more rather than less to help the economy heal from Covid-19. The White House subsequently proposed a new $1.8 trillion stimulus package, with Trump himself saying he wanted to go even further, and negotiations with Democrats are expected to continue this week.



chart: S&P 500 climbs to highest level since early September


© Bloomberg
S&P 500 climbs to highest level since early September

“The stimulus stalemate still looms large, though it failed to derail the market,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment product at E*Trade Financial. “And with high expectations for big-bank earnings kicking off the season, we could get a clearer picture into just how far we’ve come in terms of economic recovery.”

U.S. voters are getting their first close look at Judge Amy Coney Barrett in hearings that began Monday and are all but certain

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters)Asian shares inched towards 2-1/2-year highs on Friday as revived hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal eclipsed weaker-than-expected jobs data, while mainland Chinese markets jumped after a week-long holiday.

Investors were also increasingly expecting the Democrats to take back the White House, and possibly the Senate as well, in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, analysts said.

A widening lead for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is seen as reducing the risk of a contested election and opening the way for a big economic stimulus, helping to counter investors’ wariness about a Democrat pledge to hike corporate tax rates.

European shares are expected to open higher with Euro Stoxx50 futures STXEc1 rising 0.1% in early trade.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.34%, inching closer to its Aug. 31 peak, which was its highest level since March 2018. China’s CSI300 index .CSI300 gained 3.17% after the Golden Week holidays.

Futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 gained 0.39% but Japan’s Nikkei .N225 bucked the trend to fall 0.12% after hitting a 7 1/2-month high.

“Markets are starting to assume a Biden victory,” said Osamu Takashima, chief FX strategist at Citigroup Global Markets Japan.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said talks with Congress had restarted on targeted fiscal relief, after calling off negotiations earlier this week.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence about reaching an agreement on the amount of aid in new legislation.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.80% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.5%.

The S&P 500 energy index .SPNY led sector percentage gains, rising 3.8% on the day, after a jump in oil prices due to production shutdowns ahead of a storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the

Civil unrest has gripped the U.S. since the May killing of George Floyd, prompting companies across industries to commit to racial justice and support initiatives that promote equity and inclusivity.

On Thursday, JPMorgan Chase made a $30 billion pledge to address racial inequality over the next five years, standing out as one of the largest race-related corporate financial commitments since public upheaval began in early June. The announcement comes shortly after Citi and Bank of America pledged $1 billion respectively to tackle racial inequality and economic mobility among communities of color. 

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, said in a statement. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

The bank’s pledge includes a combination of loans, equity, and direct funding that will expand homeownership for communities of color, grow Black and Latinx-owned businesses and improve their access to banking.

Much like Citi’s pledge, the majority of JPMorgan’s investment is allocated to housing. The bank says it will commit up to $4 billion in refinancing loans to provide Black and Latinx Americans with lower mortgage payments and an additional $14 billion in new loans and equity investments to help finance 100,000 affordable rental units in underserved communities.

The bank also plans to launch a new coaching program for underrepresented entrepreneurs, provide 15,000 loans worth $2 billion to small businesses in predominantly Black and Latinx communities, and will spend an additional $750 million with diverse suppliers.

Exclusionary policies have long kept racial and ethnic minorities from accessing mainstream financial services like

(RTTNews) – Asian stocks advanced on Thursday amid renewed optimism about more U.S. fiscal stimulus after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he would support relief measures for airlines and small businesses.

Optimistic signals by U.S. House speaker Nancy Pelosi over an airline-relief bill, rising chances of a Democratic victory during the November elections and expectations that U.S. monetary policy will remain accommodative for a long time also boosted investor sentiment.

Markets in China were closed for the National Day holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.2 percent to close at 24,193.35.

Japanese shares hit a seven-month high as Trump’s tweets rekindled hopes of a partial deal on U.S. coronavirus stimulus and the Nikkei reported that Japan will scale back a requirement of two weeks of self-quarantine for some business travelers.

The Nikkei average jumped 224.25 points, or 0.96 percent, to 23,647.07, marking the highest close since Feb. 14. The broader Topix index closed 0.55 percent higher at 1,655.47.

Technology stocks led the surge, with semiconductor and electronics company Screen Holdings rising as much as 8.3 percent. Advantest gained 5.4 percent and Tokyo Electron rallied 3.7 percent.

ANA Holdings dropped 1.7 percent after reports that the airline will maintain pay cuts implemented in April for its directors and managers.

On the economic front, official data showed that Japan posted a current account surplus of 2,102.8 billion yen in August, down 1.5 percent from last year. That exceeded expectations for a surplus of 1,983.7 billion yen following the 1,468.3 billion yen surplus in July.

Australian markets hit a one-month high after the government pledged billions of dollars in tax cuts and measures to boost jobs and help pull the economy out of its historic coronavirus slump.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rallied 65.60 points, or 1.09 percent, to 6,102, while the

(Bloomberg) — European stocks and U.S. futures rose as global markets extended a rally fueled by optimism that American lawmakers will reach a stimulus deal.

The Europe Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.7% and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index notched a fourth day of gains. The S&P 500 jumped 1.7% on Wednesday after a barrage of overnight tweets from President Donald Trump advocating a piecemeal approach and Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled openness to a standalone airline relief bill.

The dollar weakened, which helped boost commodities including oil and gold. Treasury yields were steady.



graphical user interface: Treasury volatility jumps most in a day since the onset of Covid turmoil in U.S.


© Bloomberg
Treasury volatility jumps most in a day since the onset of Covid turmoil in U.S.

“While the debate on a fiscal stimulus this side of the election rages on, the real question is whether markets are front running a ‘blue wave’ scenario?” Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Financial in Melbourne, wrote in a note, referring to the possibility of Democrats winning the White House as well as the Senate. Another risk is whether “we will see an ugly contested scenario.”

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Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s Sept. 15-16 meeting released Wednesday showed some U.S. central bankers sought further debate on the future of the Federal Reserve’s asset-purchase program, signaling they’d be open to altering or increasing bond-buying going forward.

Meanwhile, countries continue to grapple with rising coronavirus infections. France reported a record number of new cases and Italy’s infections spiked to the highest since April.

Regeneron shares gained 3.5% in late trading in New York after President Donald Trump said its an antibody cocktail was was the “key” to his quick recovery. Trump said he would authorize its emergency use.

Elsewhere in markets, crop futures are climbing as dry weather threatens planting in the Americas and Black Sea areas. Wheat has