US stocks close higher on hope of new fiscal stimulus

US stocks managed to realize marginal growth amid positive signals about additional fiscal stimulus.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 52.31 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 26,815.44. The S&P 500 picked up 9.67 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 3,246.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 39.28 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 10,672.27, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ten of the 11 sectors under S&P 500 moved higher with utilities, consumer staples and materials sectors up 1.17 per cent, 0.76 per cent and 0.70 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, the health sector dipped 0.52 per cent.

US-listed Chinese companies most traded lower, with seven of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

Initial jobless claims in last week read at 870,000, slightly higher than market expectation of 850,000 and 866,000 in the earlier week, according to data issued by the US Department of Labor on Thursday.

Though market sentiment came under pressure from disappointing employment data in the morning session, it was bolstered by positive signals on the next round of fiscal stimulus package.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday urged the Congress to pass a new stimulus package while US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are ready for negotiations on an additional stimulus package.

“Overall, we maintain our constructive outlook for equities over the coming months, while acknowledging that markets will likely be choppy,” UBS Global Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Officer Mark Haefele said on Thursday in a note.

UBS remains constructive that the United States would pass an additional fiscal package, though it is less likely to happen before the general election, said Haefele.

An anticipated major rotation out of the US market awaits clearer evidence of sustained and solid economic growth in the year ahead, including a decisive improvement in trade, according to a report issued by investment advisory firm MRB Partners on Thursday.

Despite a stiff valuation premium, the US market still has relative earnings advantage which warrant maintaining a mild overweight stance on the US side, said MRB Partners.