US stocks end higher on coronavirus relief talks but close September in the red

A better-than-expected ADP job report also lifted sentiment in what was initially expected to be a glum session in New York

William Hill PLC - Wall Street expected lower after car crash presidential debate

4:05 pm: US Stocks higher amid volatile trading

US stocks closed higher on a strong note amid volatile trading as investors cheered talks between Congress and the White House for further coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus.

However, stocks ended September on a negative note. The S&P 500 fell more than 3% -- its first down month in six months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.3% and 4.7%, respectively.

For the day, the Dow jumped 1.20%, or 329 points, to 27,781. The S&P 500 increased 0.83% to 3,363 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.74% to 11,167.

12:25 pm: Secretary Mnuchin says he'll talk coronavirus stimulus with Pelosi

The ADP employment report for September was 749,000, Madden noted, which easily topped the 650,000 consensus estimate, and it was a big improvement on the 428,000 jobs added in August. 

The Dow was up more than 460 points, 1.7%, to 27,915.2 at midday. The Nasdaq gained 169 points, 1.5%, to 27,905.1 and the S&P 500 improved 44 points, 1.3%, to 3,380.1.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin plans to talk with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday and is "hopeful" a coronavirus relief deal can get done, CNBC reported

“I say we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” Mnuchin said at the Delivering Alpha conference. “I think there is a reasonable compromise here.”

"Traders are taking [Mnuchin's comments] as a step in the right direction, but it might be a ploy to distract the public from the no-so impressive debate between President Trump and Joe Biden last night," CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden wrote Wednesday.

10:25 am: Proactive North America headlines:

Next Green Wave Holdings Inc (CSE:NGW) (OTCQX:NXGWF) adds veteran KPMG executive Norm Mayr to its board of directors

NexTech AR Solutions Corp (OTCQB:NEXCF) (CSE:NTAR) (FRA:N29) set to launch new “Genie in the Bottle” marketing program in 4Q

Valeo Pharma Inc (CSE:VPH) (OTCQB:VPHIF) says it is positioned for profit with latest product launches; posts fiscal 3Q results

BetterLife Pharma Inc (CSE:BETR) (OTCQB:BETRF) receives FINRA approval to resume trading on OTC Markets

Heritage Cannabis  Holdings Corp (CSE:CANN) (OTCQX:HERTF) posts C$2.3M in 3Q revenue on the back of its strong contract manufacturing business

Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc (CVE:CCW) (OTCMKTS:CCWOF) reinterpreting past-producing Gowganda camp in Ontario as it hails early drilling results

NetCents Technology Inc (CSE:NC) (OTCQB:NTTCF) partners with mobile-payments company Sosure of Australia

ImagineAR set to increase brand exposure as it strikes historic partnership with Valencia, one of the biggest football clubs in the world

Phunware Inc (NASDAQ: PHUN) awarded Best Mobile-Driven Enterprise Cloud Platform by Corporate Vision Magazine for 2020

9.42am: Wall Street starts higher

The main Wall Street indices shrugged off expectations of a negative start to push higher on Wednesday morning, seemingly boosted by a better than expected set of US jobs figures.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.69% at 27,642 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.5% to 3,352 and the Nasdaq rose 0.34% to 11,123.

While last night’s chaotic election debate had initially dulled the mood on Wall Street, the release of the ADP job figures for September, which showed the US private sector added 749,000 jobs from August to September, topping estimates of 649,000, has lifted the market mood.

The better than expected number will lift market hopes for the non-farm payroll data on Friday, as well as provide more confidence in the overall state of the US economy as it continues to struggle with rising coronavirus cases.

Trade, transport, and utilities was the sector with the most growth, adding 186,000 jobs in the period, while natural resources and mining was the slowest with only 7,000 positions added.

7.51am: Wall Street expected lower

Wall Street is expected to open lower on Wednesday after the chaotic presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, while the market keeps anxiously waiting for a COVID-19 plan.

“These events are often overplayed for their importance and that's particularly true in an election year when the undecided vote is so small,” said Craig Erlam at OANDA.

“It's hard to pick a winner, I think we're all losers as far as that debate is concerned, but Biden went into the debate clearly ahead in the polls and I'd be amazed if last night changed anything. I guess he technically wins by default.”

On schedule, we also have the ADP employment report for September, forecast to show 649k new entries.

However, the August reading fell short at 428k “and as such could do so again”, noted Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.

“Economic uncertainty has increased in the last few weeks despite a rise in US consumer confidence, and while today’s numbers could be a leading indicator for Friday’s payrolls report, there has been little correlation in recent months.”

The US second quarter GDP is expected to fall by 31.7% annualized, with personal consumption the main drag, tumbling 34.1%.

Five things to watch for on Wednesday:

  • The US ADP employment report, a precursor to the non-farm payrolls on Friday, will provide the first insight into how the American jobs market performed in September. The August figure of 428,000 jobs added massively undershot the estimate of 950,000, so the market will be hoping this month’s figure is less of a disappointment
  • Macro news will also see the final reading of the US second quarter GDP, which is not expected to change much from its initial reading of a 31.7% plunge in the period as the American economy was rocked by the pandemic and lockdown measures
  • Other macro data on the calendar includes the latest Chicago PMI reading and US pending home sales data
  • Possible political developments over a second round of US government coronavirus stimulus measures as Democrats in the House of Representatives continue to push for a vote on their proposed US$2 trillion+ package before Congress leaves at the end of the week until after the election
  • Share price reaction from casino operator Caesars Entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:CZR) as it confirmed its £2.9 billion (US$3.7 billion) takeover offer for UK bookmaker William Hill PLC (LON:WMH)

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