By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks joined their global counterparts in the black, and were on track for weekly gains on Friday as ongoing fiscal aid talks and growing expectations for Democratic election victories revived hopes over economic stimulus.
Gold surged and the dollar dropped as investors bet on the increased probability of forthcoming coronavirus relief.
Wrangling in Washington over pandemic aid has dominated markets this week, which began with President Donald Trump halting negotiations on a comprehensive aid package.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue to hammer out a deal, even as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed doubt that consensus could be reached before the election.
But a report from the Wall Street Journal said Mnuchin was drafting a proposal worth $1.8 trillion, closer to the $2.2 trillion package Pelosi has floated.
“It’s ‘will they or won’t they?’, but the market is maybe becoming less concerned about the timing of a stimulus package,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.
“I think there’s going to be a stimulus package within the next two months and probably sooner,” Carlson added.
Trump expressed a desire to return to the campaign trail a week after he announced that he had contracted COVID-19, but aides said Trump was unlikely to hold any in-person events until Monday at the earliest.
Reuters/Ipsos polls show Trump’s approval rating plummeting, with Americans steadily losing confidence in his handling of the pandemic, while Democratic challenger Joe Biden makes gains in several key swing states.
“The market is saying there’s a good chance (fiscal relief) might not happen until after the election,” said Carlson, adding “if there’s a ‘blue wave’ the package will be more significant.”
Next week, investors’ attention will