The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite brushed with record highs Wednesday amid optimism surrounding a stimulus deal.
The S&P climbed 0.18% to rise just below a closing high, while the Nasdaq gained 0.5%, hitting intraday and closing all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, fell 44.77 points, or 0.15%.
Microsoft climbed 2.41% to help lead the Nasdaq higher.
The markets also responded to ongoing stimulus talks as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he was “optimistic” Congress would be able to reach a deal sometime soon, while Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said leaders were “making progress.”
“Stimulus remains a key focus for the market, as it is the necessary bridge to expansive vaccinations,” said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist for Ally Invest. “Market participants would like to see a deal sooner rather than later given the expectation for economic data to slow near term. In the absence of a deal, turbulence could pick up.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday said the case for fiscal stimulus is “very, very strong” as the Fed left interest rates at 0% to 0.25%, the same level since March.
The Fed also committed to continue buying at least $120 billion worth of bonds each month until the United States reaches full employment and inflation remains at 2%.
“Investors have clearly applauded recent news that legislation is imminent before Congress recesses for the holiday break knowing the Fed will buy every last Treasury that is issued to fund the relief package,” Danielle Di Martino Booth, chief executive officer of Quill intelligence said, according to Bloomberg.