Stocks Edge Higher as Trump Backtracks on Instruction to Halt Stimulus Talks

Major benchmark indices edged higher on Wednesday morning, after President Donald Trump backtracked on his call to end discussions for another stimulus bill that would provide much-needed funds to a coronavirus-battered United States economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 0.98%, or more than 270 points, while the S&P 500 climbed 1.1%, or 37 points, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.2%, or 130 points. Investors appeared to show optimism following the American leader’s series of tweets overnight, when he urged House Democrats and Senate Republicans to “immediately approve” a measure that would support the hard-hit airline industry as well as small businesses.

“Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the CARES Act,” he wrote on Twitter just before 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday. “Have this money. I will sign now!”

He also suggested another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals and tagged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional leaders in the post.

This morning, Trump doubled down on his comments. “Move fast,” he said. “I am waiting to sign!”

Just yesterday afternoon, Trump — who received treatment over the weekend at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis — tweeted that he had told his representatives to halt negotiations on a proposed package from Democrats, meant to serve as a followup to the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid Response and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act) that was introduced at the end of March, when the COVID-19 health crisis was beginning to take hold in the country.

Yesterday, he wrote, “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major stimulus bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and small business.”

In subsequent tweets, he added, “Our economy is doing very well. The stock market is at record levels, jobs and unemployment also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the world in economic recovery, and the best is yet to come!”

Congressional leaders and the Trump administration have struggled to settle on the specific provisions of another stimulus package and have clashed over the cost of another COVID-19 legislation. Last week, Democrats passed a relief bill worth $2.2 trillion, while Republicans have proposed a separate $1.6 trillion package.

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