U.S. stocks powered higher Thursday, while energy prices retreated from multi-year highs, as investors looked to a short-term fix in the debt ceiling saga and an easing of tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday he's reached an agreement, with Republican Senator Mitch McConnell's that would extend the debt ceiling until early December. A vote is planned for later today, he added.
McConnell said late Wednesday that he'd support a specific, time-limited extension to the $28.4 trillion debt ceiling in order to allow Democrats time to pass a longer-term solution through the complicated process of reconciliation.
A bigger-than-expected increase in domestic crude stocks, which the Energy Department said rose by 2.3 million barrels last week, helped pull oil prices from their seven-year highs, while hints from Russian President Vladimir Putin on increased gas supplies to Europe clipped energy market prices on the Continent.
WTI futures for November delivery were marked 46 cents lower on the session at $76.97 each, while Brent contracts for December were down 30 cents to $80.74 per barrel.
President Joe Biden will meet China's President Xi Jingping before the end of the year, administration officials said late Wednesday, setting up the first face-to-face talks between the two world leaders since last year's election.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 535 points in the opening hour of trading while the broader S&P 500 added 64 points from last night's close. The tech--focused Nasdaq Composite futures, meanwhile, gained 235 point boost as benchmark 10-year note yields rose to 1.559% following a stronger-than-expected reading of weekly jobless claims.
Applications for the week ending on October 2 were pegged at 326,000, down from the prior period's upwardly-revised total of 364,000 and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast. The post-pandemic low remains at 310,000, recorded over the week of September 9.
General Motors (GM) - Get Free Report shares were a notable early-market mover, rising 1.5% after the largest U.S. automaker unveiled plans to double it annual revenue by the end of the decade.
AT&T (T) - Get Free Report shares, meanwhile, rose 1.3% as the stock went 'ex-dividend' and investors reacted to a Reuters report that linked its funding to the far-right media group OAN and a price target upgrade, to $28 a share, from Moffett Nathanson.
Costco Wholesale (COST) - Get Free Report shares bumped higher, as well, rising 1.55% after it posted a massive September sales boost that bodes well for the bulk discount retailer's holiday season momentum.
Levi Strauss (LEVI) - Get Free Report shares were also on the move, rising 7% after the causal apparel maker posted stronger-than-expected third quarter sales after the close of trading last night.
In overseas markets, Europe's Stoxx 600, the regional benchmark, rose 1.2% as markets adjusted to falling energy prices and a possible breakthrough in debt ceiling talks, while Japan's Nikkei 225 snapped an eight-day losing streak to close 0.54% higher at 27,678.21 points amid the potential thawing of U.S.-Sino relations.