US stocks open higher as market weighs stimulus prospects

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Democrats and Republicans in Washington are in the final two weeks of negotiations before the November 3 presidential election on new spending measures to boost the US economy after the coronavirus pandemic caused grievous damage earlier in the year.
Democrats and Republicans in Washington are in the final two weeks of negotiations before the November 3 presidential election on new spending measures to boost the US economy after the coronavirus pandemic caused grievous damage earlier in the year.
Bloomberg Creative

Wall Street stocks rose modestly in early trading Friday on revived stimulus hopes as employment data showed disappointing US job growth in November.

The US added 245 000 new jobs last month, much below the level expected by analysts, although the unemployment rate dipped to 6.7 from 6.9%, the lowest since the pandemic struck.

Analysts said the report could boost negotiations on Capitol Hill to enact an economic relief package. Talks have been revived this week after a lengthy hiatus before and after the November elections.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4% at 30 076.22.

The broad-based S&P 500 also gained 0.4% to 3 680.75, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.2% at 12 397.95.

Major indices have closed at or near records this week, boosted by expectations for an economic recovery in 2021 once coronavirus vaccines become widely used.

Those hopes have helped offset worries about the short-term weakness of the economy as the US contends with soaring Covid-19 cases.

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