Stocks rise, Nasdaq hits new record as coronavirus-relief talks move in 'right direction'

Microsoft may face rivals in bidding for TikTok's US operations

U.S. equity markets closed higher Tuesday as Congressional talks on coronavirus relief measures were underway. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that lawmakers “hope to make some progress" as he made his way into the meetings late afternoon.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10913.561787+241.30+2.26%
SP500S&P 5003298.46+51.87+1.60%
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27173.96+358.52+1.34%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 165 points, or 0.62 percent, and the S&P 500 gained 0.36 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.35 percent and secured another record for the 30th time this year and 156th time under President Trump.

Democrats and Republicans "remain far apart on a number of issues. But we're finally moving in the right direction," Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, said on the chamber floor earlier in the session, according to Reuters. "At the moment, the gap between our two parties in the negotiations is about priorities and about scale."

GOP leaders want to cut the payment to $200, arguing that the higher amount prompts lower-paid workers not to return to their jobs.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GLDSPDR GOLD SHARES TRUST - EUR ACC174.94-0.50-0.28%

As equities rose, so did gold, which gained $35.20 to $2,001.20 an ounce, a new record which helped drive gold exchange-traded funds higher.

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Looking at stocks, Ford CEO Jim Hackett has stepped down effective Oct. 1 and will be replaced by chief operating officer Jim Farley. Shares of the automaker had fallen 40 percent through Monday since Hackett took over as CEO more than three years ago.

FORD CEO JIM HACKETT TO STEP DOWN

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FFORD MOTOR COMPANY6.51-0.15-2.25%

Microsoft shares remain in focus as the company continues talks with China-based Bytedance for the U.S. operations of social-media app TikTok. Trump, who has threatened to ban the popular app in the U.S., said on Monday that Microsoft has until Sept. 15 to reach a deal.

There were also reports that there are other potential suitors, including Apple, which the company denied.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.207.82+4.63+2.28%
AAPLAPPLE INC.112.28+4.06+3.75%

Eastman Kodak shares declined on reports the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing the company's stock move before and after it was awarded a $765 million government loan to make drugs at its factories.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
KODKEASTMAN KODAK CO.9.32+0.55+6.27%

On the earnings front, BP booked a $10.9 billion writedown on its way to a quarterly pre-tax loss of $16.8 billion. The London-based oil giant cut its 10.5-cents-per-share dividend in half and said it would aim to reduce net carbon emissions from oil and gas by as much as 40 percent over the next decade.

Apparel maker Ralph Lauren said same-store sales in the three months through June plunged 57 percent from a year ago as COVID-19 shuttered shops around the world.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BPBP PLC17.86-0.07-0.39%
RLRALPH LAUREN CORP71.07-0.59-0.82%

Take-Two Interactive reported a 54 percent jump in quarterly revenue and raised its earnings forecast after the video-game maker saw surging demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
RLRALPH LAUREN CORP71.07-0.59-0.82%
TTWOTAKE TWO165.78+2.49+1.52%

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 69 cents at $41.70 per barrel.

RISK OF DELAYED, DISPUTED ELECTION RESULTS LOOMS OVER MARKET RALLY

U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down to 0.514 percent.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.36 percent while Britain’s FTSE ticked up 0.05 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 0.28 percent.

Markets rallied across Asia, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbing 2 percent, Japan’s Nikkei adding 1.7 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite edging up 0.11 percent.