US stocks trending higher with Monday's bipartisan stimulus talks underway

President Biden and 10 GOP representatives held what both sides termed positive talks at the White House

U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher open when trading gets underway.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES31529.28-432.58-1.35%
SP500S&P 5003850.28-75.15-1.91%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX13234.212551-363.75-2.68%

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index gained 1.6%, recovering some of losses earlier in the week amid frenzied trading of video game retailer GameStop and other stocks targeted by novice day traders.

In Washington, Biden invited 10 moderate Republicans to the White House to discuss his proposed $1.9 trillion economic aid plan. Republicans earlier countered with an offer of $600 billion, or less than one-third of Biden's proposed amount.

“The sound of more stimulus, which tends to raise all boats, was music to the market’s ears,” said Stephen Innes of Axi in a report.

Silver declined after jumping at one point to its highest level in eight years. Silver for March delivery shed 55 cents, or 1.9%, to $28.86 per ounce in London.

U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher open when trading gets underway. (Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

Last week, messages on the Reddit forum WallStreet Bets and other places on social media encouraged small investors to buy silver. It shot up Monday, but many online investors said it wasn’t them bidding up the price.

Smaller traders are learning "the silver market is much bigger than some of the small cap stocks they have been trading,” said Edward Moya of Oanda in a report. “Silver coin purchases and call option bets are not enough of a driver to send silver prices skyrocketing to record high levels.”

On Monday, the S&P 500 index gained to 3,773.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% to 30,211.91. The Nasdaq composite climbed 2.5% to 13,403.39.

U.S. markets have been roiled by frenzied trading in GameStop and some other stocks that had been expected to decline but surged after novice traders bought. Other investors said hedge funds that bet against those stocks were losing money and selling other shares.

GameStop slumped 30.8% to $225 a share. It ended last year at about $18.

Tech stocks led the way higher. Communication stocks and a variety of companies that rely on direct consumer spending such as Starbucks and AutoZone also helped lift the market.

Hopes for economic aid, along with the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep low-cost credit plentiful, have carried the S&P 500 and other major indexes to record highs.

Investors bid up stocks heading into 2021 in expectation the rollout of coronavirus vaccines would allow global business and travel to return to normal. That optimism has been dented by infection spikes and disruptions in vaccine deliveries.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks followed Wall Street higher Tuesday after President Joe Biden invited Republicans to a meeting to discuss economic aid, while silver eased off an eight-year high.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul all advanced. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6% to 3,527.15 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.9% to 28,334.59. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 1.5% to 29,318.49.

The Kospi in Seoul was 1.4% higher at 3,098.74 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 1.5% to 6,762.60.

India's Sensex opened up 2% at 49,585.51. New Zealand retreated while Singapore and Bangkok rose. Jakarta was little-changed.

Also Tuesday, Australia's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.1% and extended a bond purchase program through September. The bank said the job market exceeded expectations.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 72 cents to $54.27 per barrel. The contract gained $1.35 on Monday to $53.55 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 70 cents to $57.05 per barrel in London. It advanced $1.31 the previous session to $56.35.

The dollar edged up to 104.97 yen from Monday's 104.94 yen. The euro rose to $1.2075 from $1.2066.