Wall Street Opens Higher on Last-Ditch Stimulus Hope; Dow up 150 Pts

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Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened higher on Monday, buoyed by hopes for a last-minute agreement on a comprehensive fiscal stimulus package before the elections on November 3.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at the weekend that there were still two days to bridge what appear to be still-wide differences with the Republican administration and Senate over a package, while Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said he would schedule votes on a suite of individual relief measures. While that is unlikely to be enough in itself to get any such measures enacted, it keeps the two sides at least superficially moving towards each other.

By 9:35 AM ET (1335 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 78 points, or 0.2%, at 28,676 points. The S&P 500 was also up 0.5% and the NASDAQ Composite was up 0.8%. 

Oil and gas stocks were supported somewhat by the confirmation of ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) agreeing to buy shale producer Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) for $9.7 billion, the biggest acquisition in the sector this year.  However, a fourth straight quarterly loss and grim outlook from Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) underlined the problems the sector continues to face. ConocoPhillips stock was down 1.0%, on perceptions that it may have overpaid. Concho stock, which had risen over 10% last week on reports of the deal happening, gave up 0.2%.

Earlier, the day’s only data release of note, the NAHB housing market index, leaped to another all-time high of 83, underscoring the strength of the momentum in a housing market where the pandemic appears to have caused a wave of generational shift in preferences for larger, if less central, properties.