Markets

Stock Market Today: Renewed Stimulus Hopes Spark Wide Monday Rally 

The House appears primed to take another swing at COVID relief, prompting a big Monday jump in the major stock-market indices.

Hopes for economic help from Washington were reignited over the weekend, enabling Wall Street to ignore several potentially bearish catalysts Monday and send stocks to a wide-ranging rally.

Most concerning might have been the news that Inovio Pharmaceuticals' (INO, -28.3%) COVID-19 vaccine candidate was put in a "partial clinical hold."

Uncertainty over what we'll hear in the presidential debates, which begin Tuesday night, also might have been considered an overhang given the importance of the 2020 elections to the nation's economic picture.

"The U.S. election is taking place against a historic backdrop of a pandemic, recession and domestic strife," say BlackRock Investment Institute strategists. "The outcome could have significant implications for key policy areas: fiscal stimulus, public investment, taxation, regulation and foreign affairs. It also has the potential to supercharge structural trends such as an increased policy and market focus on sustainability."

But first and foremost on investors' minds was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Sunday revelation that the House is working on a smaller $2.4 trillion stimulus package; she was scheduled to talk to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin today.

Twenty-seven of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 30 components finished in the black today, including big gainers Boeing (BA, +6.4%) and Dow (DOW, +3.1%), leading the industrial average 1.5% higher to 27,584.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The S&P 500 finished up 1.6% to 3,351.
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed 1.9% higher to 11,117.
  • The small-cap Russell 2000 jumped 2.4% to 1,510.

Washington's Pull on Wall Street

A potential second round of federal stimulus is the brightest lure for investors in a murky pre-election market.

"Several economic indicators in August suggest some caution as we head into the final quarter of 2020," writes Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management, pointing to retail sales and consumer confidence specifically. "Some of this can be attributed to the spike in virus cases over the summer, but the elevated unemployment rate and the stalemate in Washington D.C. over the next round of fiscal stimulus is likely taking a toll."

Several areas of the market might remain elevated even if stimulus talks stall out until after the election. Housing stocks, for instance, have been on a heater for months, the slowing economic recovery be darned. And 5G technology is bound to become ubiquitous like its predecessors, putting these seven stocks in play if you're willing to be patient.

Wall Street has also been buzzing over gaming companies – specifically sports betting stocks.

America's sports scene is beginning to normalize, with professional baseball, basketball, hockey and football all successfully returning to action this fall. The short-term outlook for sports betting is perking up, and industry experts see several stocks scoring for investors in the years to come. Here, we look at seven major sports betting stocks that are worth exploring.

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