US stocks rose on Thursday following news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use a $908 billion bipartisan stimulus plan as the basis for relief talks before the end of the year. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed, led higher by energy shares, consumer staples bucked the trend. News before the opening bell that the UK had approved the Pfizer vaccine, helped buoy stock prices. Mortgage applications in the US jumped more than expected while ADP private payrolls disappointed.
Mortgage Applications Rise
Mortgage applications to purchase a home jumped 9% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s index. Purchase applications were a robust 28% higher from a year ago.
ADP Private Payrolls Rise Less than Expected
Private companies added 307,000 jobs in November below the 475,000 expected. The October figure was revised higher to 404,000. This was the smallest gain since July’s 216,000. The revision added 39,000 to the original estimate from October, making the November miss not as bad as it appears. This comes ahead of Friday’s payroll report. The Labor Department on Friday is expected to report that the economy in November added 440,000 jobs, down from the 638,000 in October. Private payrolls are estimated to grow by 590,000.
Biden Says He won’t Immediately Terminate Chinese Tariffs
President-elect Joe Biden will not immediately remove tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on China. Biden said he first wants to conduct a full review of the “phase one” trade deal that the Trump administration reached with China before he makes any decision on the future direction of trade with the worlds second largest economy.