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Stocks Hold Gains as Lawmakers Wrangle Over Aid: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks held a modest gain that put them at all-time highs after data showing a further slowdown in the labor market stoked bets Congressional leaders will clinch a deal on federal spending.The S&P 500 climbed for a third day as lawmakers continued to negotiate details of almost $900 billion in coronavirus aid. The dollar slumped as weekly jobless claims rose to 885,000 versus an estimate of 818,000. Treasuries were steady. Bitcoin breached $23,000 for the first time.In Europe, cyclical shares such as miners and retailers rose on news that the rollout of a Covid vaccine would begin this month. The pound climbed and the euro rose to the highest since April 2018 as officials cautiously predicted a Brexit deal within days.With the clock ticking to renew pandemic aid, leaders in Washington are under pressure to resolve their differences after months of deadlock amid signs of a faltering economic recovery. Their peers in Europe cleared the bloc’s 1.8 trillion-euro ($2.2 trillion) stimulus package on Wednesday.“Investors know that the environment for businesses and for earnings is going to be good in the medium and long-term,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “The global economy and the U.S. in particular is going to go through a tough patch here in the next few months. However, the central banks and the future looks good.”Emmanuel Macron’s office said he’d tested positive for the coronavirus. The French president, 42, will self-isolate during seven days, while continuing to work, his office said. The number of virus deaths reached another daily record in the U.S., while the first known allergic reaction to the Pfizer Inc. vaccine was reported in Alaska as some snarls began to emerge in the effort to send the shots across the country.Elsewhere, oil held gains in the wake of a surprise decline in U.S. crude inventories. Stocks across Asia saw modest advances.Here are some key events coming up:Policy decisions from central banks in Japan and Russia are due Friday.These are some of the main moves in markets:For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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