Dow book s back-to-back gains but ends over 200 points off Thursday’s peak as Wall Street weighs stimulus

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The Dow industrials finished in positive territory on Thursday and marked consecutive gains, but the broader equity market enjoyed a firmer, if not choppy, advance as investors weighed progress toward a fresh round of coronavirus stimulus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day up about 35 points, or 0.1%, at about 27,817, briefly breaching a psychological round-number at 28,000 before retreating and briefly trading in negative territory, trading on developments tied to the ever-changing negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with the talks between the pair producing bullish and bearish headlines throughout the session. Both are hopeful for a bill but the sides remain far apart on key details including the overall size of the relief package, which Democrats are hoping can approach $2 trillion or more. Mnuchin and Pelosi, after talking earlier in the day, agreed to convene again later Thursday, according to reports. Market participants view a fresh round of stimulus as a key factor in supporting equity buying and the broader economy. The S&P 500 index closed up 0.5% at 3,380, while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session up 1.4%, as investors turned to the perceived safety of technology-related stocks, which have been bought on the view that that sector will fare better amid the coronavirus pandemic. Investors are also awaited a key piece of data on Friday in the form of the nonfarm-payrolls report, which could be the ultimate catalyst for Wall Street.
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