U.S. stocks finished the session higher Wednesday, shaking off an unsettling presidential debate, to focus on the prospects of a new round of economic stimulus to help Americans and businesses climb from out of the depths of the coronavirus crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed by about 330 points, or 1.2%, higher at 27,781, on a preliminary basis. The S&P 500 index finished up 0.8%, led by a 1.7% rally in health care , a 1.2% gain in financials and a 1.2% rise in consumer staples ; while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session up 0.7% on the session. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to forge a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a coronavirus relief package but the pair vowed to continue discussions in an attempt to make headway on a package. In corporate news, shares of data company Palantir Technologies finished the session up 31% in its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks began the day on an unsteady footing as investors parsed the import of a mostly acrimonious presidential debate performance between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.