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Dow Finishes Higher as Pelosi 'Hopeful' on Stimulus Deal

Stocks end higher as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is 'hopeful' of agreeing to terms of a stimulus bill with the White House.

Stocks finished higher Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was "hopeful" of agreeing to terms of a stimulus bill with the White House and investors digested a number of solid earnings reports.

The number of Americans applying for first-time jobless benefits registered a surprise dip last week, falling below 800,000 for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began to hurt the U.S. economy and jobs market. Revisions to California's jobless-claim numbers were partly behind the drop. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 152 points, or 0.54%, to 28,363, the S&P 500 gained 0.52% and the Nasdaq edged up 0.19%.

“We continue to be engaged in negotiations, and I am hopeful we will be able to reach an agreement,” Pelosi said at a news conference Thursday. She told MSNBC that it was her "hope" to get a relief package done by Election Day, Nov. 3.

Whatever plan Pelosi hatches with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, however, will face a Senate reluctant to approve a proposed package of about $2 trillion.

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Holding back further gains were a surge in coronavirus cases in Europe and a two-month high for Covid-19 hospitalizations in the U.S.

Gilead Sciences  (GILD) said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat patients who have covid-19 and require hospitalization. President Donald Trump was treated with remdesivir after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The stock finished the regular Thursday session up 0.8% at $60.67. In after-hours trades the stock at last check was 4% higher at $63.10.

Tesla  (TSLA)  closed up 0.8% Thursday after revenue growth and wider margins helped the electric-vehicle company's quarterly free cash flow top $1 billion for just the second time in its history.

Tesla Gains After Reporting Strong Cash Flows: 7 Key Takeaways

AT&T  (T)  reported third-quarter revenue of $42.34 billion, higher than analysts' estimates, as the telecom giant added more subscribers to its HBO Max streaming service and its wireless network than expected in the period. The shares rose 5.9% to $28.29.