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Global Shares Mostly Rise On Hopes For US Stimulus Package

A man walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Asian shares are mostly higher in muted trading on Monday, as worries about the pandemic keep optimism in check, despite the rally that closed out last week on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

A man walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Asian shares are mostly higher in muted trading on Monday, as worries about the pandemic keep optimism in check, despite the rally that closed out last week on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Global shares were mostly higher Monday, though worries about the pandemic kept optimism in check

NEW YORK: Wall Street is pushing higher in early trading on Monday and tacking more gains onto last weeks rally, its best in more than three months.

The S&P 500 was 0.7% higher, following up on strengthening in stock markets around the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 121 points, or 0.4%, at 28,708, as of 9:47 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 1.3% higher.

Mondays market gains were driven mostly by Big Tech stocks, rather than companies that would benefit from a strengthening economy.

Apple rose 3.1% and alone accounted for about a quarter of the S&P 500s rise. Amazon rose 2.5%, Microsoft climbed 1.1%, Facebook rose 2.1% and Googles parent company gained 1.9%.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks, which tends to move more with expectations for the economys strength than Big Tech companies, was close to flat.

Mondays early gains add to last weeks 3.8% rally for the S&P 500, which came amid a dizzying 360-degree spin on expectations for Congress and the White House to be able to deliver more aid for the economy.

President Donald Trump said early in the week hed put a halt to negotiations on stimulus, even though economists and the chair of the Federal Reserve say the economic recovery likely needs it. He then backed a set of more limited programs before admonishing negotiators at the end of the week to Go Big! His administration unveiled its latest, increased proposal to House Democrats, valued at about $1.8 trillion.

Over the weekend, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the offer as one step forward, two steps back, while Trumps fellow Republicans called it too expensive.

Investors have been agitating for more stimulus since the expiration of extra unemployment benefits for laid-off workers and other support for the economy approved by Congress earlier this year. Even if Washington cant deliver the aid soon, some investors have been building up their expectations that it may arrive in 2021.

Rising poll numbers for Democrats are raising the odds for a sweep of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. If that were to happen, investors say it also increases the likelihood for a big stimulus package after the election. That could offset the drag on corporate profits that higher taxes and tighter regulations under a Democratic-controlled Washington could create.

This week also marks the start of earnings reporting season for big U.S. companies, where CEOs will tell investors how they fared from July through September. Analysts are forecasting another quarter of weaker profits, with S&P 500 earnings expected to be down 20.5%, according to FactSet.

But thats not as bad as analysts were forecasting a few months ago, and its not as bad as the 31.6% drop that S&P 500 companies reported for the spring quarter. As widespread lockdowns eased across the country, companies have been able to feel a bit of increasing momentum.

This week will feature earnings reports from many of the nations biggest banks, and how they fare could give a clearer picture into just how far weve come in terms of economic recovery, said Chris Larkin, managing director at E-Trade Financial.

In European stock markets, Frances CAC 40 rose 0.7%, and Germanys DAX returned 0.7%. The FTSE 100 in London was close to flat.

Chinese shares led advances in Asia. Hong Kongs Hang Seng jumped 2.2%, while stocks in Shanghai rose 2.6%.

Japans Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3%, and South Koreas Kospi added 0.5%.

Trading in the Treasury market is closed for a holiday.

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AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama contributed.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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