NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday, but only after zooming up, down and back up again in a fitting end to what was a wild month and quarter for Wall Street.

Prospects for additional support from Congress for the economy helped drive the day’s trading, as they have for weeks. The S&P 500 shot to a gain of as much as 1.7% after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he would talk with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about a potential deal in the afternoon, “and I hope we can get something done.”

But the gains nearly vanished as pessimism rose about Washington’s ability to get past its partisanship and send economic aid that investors say is crucial. The S&P 500 hit its low for the day just after Pelosi said she and Mnuchin “found areas where we are seeking further clarification,” though she said talks will continue.

By the end of trading, momentum had returned, and the S&P 500 rose 27.53 points, or 0.8%, to 3,363.00. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 329.04, or 1.2%, to 27,781.70, and the Nasdaq composite added 82.26, or 0.7%, to 11,167.51.


It was the last day of a strong quarter for the market, where the S&P 500 rallied 8.5% to follow up on its 20% surge in the spring. Continued support from the Federal Reserve helped drive the gains, as the central bank leaned further into the whatever-it-takes approach taken to support markets and the economy. After already cutting interest rates to nearly zero, the Fed said during the quarter that it may keep interest rates low even after inflation runs above its target level.

But momentum slowed sharply at the end of the quarter, and the S&P 500 lost 3.9% in September for its first monthly loss since the

Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.

It’s the first day of a two-day summit dedicated to conveying the image of a more assertive Europe. EU leaders will vow to make the bloc strategically autonomous, reducing their dependence on imports from countries like China. Speaking of which, they will welcome (and give themselves credit for) Xi Jinping’s commitment to carbon neutrality. The draft communique we have echoes Donald Trump a bit, stressing “the need to rebalance the economic relationship and achieve reciprocity,” while also lambasting Beijing’s human rights record. Leaders will also seek a carrot and stick approach with Turkey. But unlike China, there’s no real consensus. The discussion could go either way, and Cyprus’s insistence that it won’t sign off on sanctions against Belarus unless the EU agrees to punitive measures against Turkey, means the summit could end up exposing the bloc’s divisions instead of highlighting its assertiveness.

Nikos Chrysoloras andJohn Ainger

What’s Happening

Recovery Woes | Fraught negotiations over the terms attached to the EU’s jointly-financed economic recovery package continue, with no breakthrough in sight. Germany warns it’s very likely things won’t be up and running come Jan. 1, delaying the flow of much-needed cash to the continent’s battered economies. Whether all of this is theatrical tactics, remains to be seen.

Inflation Overshoot | ECB President Christine Lagarde says it’s worth examining a Federal Reserve-style strategy that allows inflation to temporarily rise above the institution’s target. Here’s how the policy looks in the U.S. and what it means for the value of the money in your pocket.

Time Bomb | Italy’s market crisis may have subsided, but the debt worries that caused it will haunt Europe for a while. That’s the bleak outlook that

A paycheck (Credit: Thinkstock)

The insurance industry has a well-known pay gap that is worse than the national average and larger today than it was in 1951.

Fortunately, insurance companies are getting serious about pay equity based on gender and race — and for good reasons: One: it’s the law. Two: it’s good for business. Three: it’s the right thing to do. The current dialogue around race disparity has raised the stakes, forcing brands to assess their role in ending systemic racism, including creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

(Related: State Insurance Regulators Hold Session on Race and Insurance)

However, whether you’re talking about race, gender, ethnicity or other elements of diversity, inclusion initiatives won’t succeed without ensuring equal footing for all employees on the most fundamental element of the job: fair compensation. Pay disparities are both a symptom of and a contributor to inequality. That’s why the best leaders are tackling workplace bias by taking real action: finding and fixing pay equity issues.

Metrics for a Fair Workplace: Pay Gap, Opportunity Gap, and Pay Equity

The pay gap compares the average pay of all working men to all working women.

The pay gap tells us that women may not be hired into or promoted to higher paying jobs at the same rate as men, which is reflected in representation in senior roles. According to Women in Insurance’s 2018 report, Leading to Action, women hold only 11% of named executive officer positions and 19% of board seats at insurance companies.

While a pay gap reveals an opportunity gap — the gap in distribution in higher level jobs — it doesn’t represent equal pay for equal work.

That’s where pay equity comes in.

Pay equity is the concept that individuals are paid equitably for performing substantially similar or comparable work. It is



a close up of a logo: FILE PHOTO: Logo of BP is seen at a petrol station in Kloten


© Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann
FILE PHOTO: Logo of BP is seen at a petrol station in Kloten


SINGAPORE (Reuters) – BP has terminated four trading and operations staff responsible for Chinese crude oil sales as a result of an internal investigation into trades with Singapore’s Hontop Energy, three people familiar with the matter said.

The decision was made this week, the people said. The staff had been placed on leave in early July while BP conducted its probe.

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The staff worked in crude trading and operations roles in Singapore and Shanghai, they said.

The improper use of the WeChat messaging platform as a tool for commercial discussions with counterparties was cited as a factor behind the terminations, one person said.

BP said the company does not comment on personnel matters or on its WeChat usage policy.

BP trading staff, including some of those terminated this week, were named in a court document filed by Malaysian lender CIMB as part of the bank’s request to the Singapore High Court to place Hontop Energy under judicial management.

The bank claimed it had agreed to provide financing to Hontop to purchase oil that would be sold on to BP, and Hontop provided the names of specific traders at BP as proof of the contract.

When CIMB sought payment from BP in February, the oil major told the bank that the contract and payment had been subject to a separate agreement between BP and Hontop. Since it had not received payment from Hontop, it was not obliged to pay Hontop or CIMB for the cargo, the affidavit said.

BP has not been implicated in any wrongdoing in the court proceedings.

Hontop is the Singapore-based trading arm of independent refiner China Wanda Holding Group Co Ltd.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Florence Tan; Editing

SPECIAL ALERT: Remember, we need your input to make next week’s new Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session episode the best it can be. There are two ways you can participate:

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Just make sure to email your submissions for either one, or both, by Thursday morning, October 1. Email now to [email protected]

The market rose in four of the last five sessions, but it was too late to save September and keep its five-month winning streak alive.

Remember how we were all in such a good mood when this month began?

The NASDAQ and S&P were making new records almost daily amid an accommodative Fed and optimism over a coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, technology couldn’t be stopped!

And then came September.

The month really lived up to its reputation as the toughest period of the year for stocks. It even knocked technology out of its leadership position.

The market simply got too hot for investors. Soaring 50% in 5 months is enough to give anybody heartburn, especially with the coronavirus still lingering and even spiking, and without new stimulus from Washington.  

Therefore, the NASDAQ dropped approximately 5.4% in the 30 days, while the S&P was off about 4% and the Dow dipped 2.3%. It was the first monthly loss since March.

Fortunately, stocks have been moving mostly higher in the past week, including today. If it weren’t