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Dow Flat as Traders Wait for Stimulus Information

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Dow Flat as Traders Wait for Stimulus Information

U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday to kick off a new month and quarter as investors monitored progress on lawmakers’ negotiations on further fiscal stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked ahead 12.01 points to 27,793.71.

The S&P 500 gained 4.92 points, to 3,367.92.

The NASDAQ added 77.05 points to 11,244.56.

The major averages are coming off their first down month since March. The 30-stock Dow lost 2.2% in September, a typically weak month for equities. The S&P 500 fell 3.9% for the month, while the technology-heavy NASDAQ dropped 5.2%.

However, all three benchmarks achieved strong gains for the third quarter. The S&P 500 rose 8.5% in the quarter for its sixth positive quarter in seven and the index is up 5% for the year.

Major technology shares provided the broader market with some support as Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook climbed at least 1% each. The S&P 500 tech sector was the biggest winner among the 11 groupings, jumping 1.4%.

The House of Representatives delayed a vote on the Democrats’ $2.2-trillion rescue package on Wednesday evening to allow for more talks, which some saw as a sign that a deal can still be reached.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters late Wednesday that President Donald Trump has extended an offer for more than $1.5 trillion in stimulus. No further details were given on the exact figure except that anything around $2 trillion and above would be a “real problem.”

Sentiment was lifted by better-than-expected weekly jobless claims report. The U.S. Labor Department said first-time filers for unemployment benefits came in at 837,000 in the week ending Sept. 26. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 850,000.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury stepped, raising yields to 0.69% from Wednesday’s 0.68%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices retreated $1.82 to $38.40 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices rallied $12.30 to $1,907.80 U.S. an ounce.

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