U.S. stock indexes ticked higher Wednesday morning as President Trump urged Congress to rework the COVID-19 stimulus bill and give more aid to struggling Americans. 

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 212 points, or 0.71%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.49%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slipped between small losses and gains.

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Trump on Tuesday evening called on Congress to extend bigger direct payments to Americans while removing “wasteful and unnecessary spending.” He did not say whether he would veto the bill, which must be signed by Dec. 23.

Economic data out Wednesday morning was mixed as initial claims for the week ended Dec. 19 fell to 803,000 from 892,000 the week prior. Continuing claims declined to 5.34 million from 5.51 million.

While durable goods orders also exceeded expectations, climbing 0.9% month over month in November, personal income and spending fell more than expected, down 1.1% and 0.4% respectively.

In stocks, airlines that would benefit from payroll aid extended in the bill were higher.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.15.97+0.49+3.17%UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.44.25+1.28+2.97%Powered by

Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech agreed to deliver an additional 100 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S., doubling the total amount of doses.

Merck reached a deal with the U.S. government to produce and deliver its COVID-19 therapeutic. A trial earlier this year found the drug reduces mortatility or respiratory failure by up to 50%.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %PFEPFIZER INC.37.60+0.86+2.34%BNTXBIONTECH SE99.29-1.27-1.26%MRKMERCK & CO. INC.80.30+0.86+1.08%Powered by

Elsewhere, Nikola Corp. and Republic Services ended their collaboration on refuse truck development. The electric-truck maker also laid out a roadmap for its Tre battery-electric semi-trucks in the U.S. next year and its plans to break ground on its first commercial hydrogen station.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %NKLANIKOLA CORPORATION15.14-1.69-10.02%RSGREPUBLIC SERVICES INC95.65-0.13-0.14%FUBOFUBOTV57.17-5.01-8.06%Powered by

FuboTV shares were lower for the first time in six days after BMO Capital Markets cut its rating to "market perform" from "outperform." The stock had soared 134% during its winning streak.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained 65 cents to $47.67 per barrel while gold added $8.60 to $1,878.90 per ounce.

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In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.29% while France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX climbed 0.77% and 0.91%, respectively.

Asian markets were higher across the board, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 up 0.33%, China’s Shanghai Composite index gaining 0.76% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advancing 0.86%.

Source Link:
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-dec-23-2020

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