Stocks were mixed in intraday trading Thursday after initial weekly jobless claims fell below 1 million for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and stimulus talks remained deadlocked.
And stocks finished broadly higher Wednesday with the S&P 500 closing just 0.2% off its all-time high. The index has risen eight of the last nine trading days.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that 963,000 Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits in the week ended Aug. 8, down from a revised 1.186 million claims the week earlier. Economists polled by FactSet had been expecting claims of 1.15 million.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she received an “overture” from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to meet but turned down the offer since the White House hadn't budged from its stimulus demands.
“We have made clear to the administration that we are willing to come down $1 trillion if they will come up $1 trillion,” Pelosi said Wednesday in a joint statement with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. “We are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously.”
Mnuchin, however, said it was Pelosi who was "unwilling to meet to continue negotiations unless we agreed in advance to her proposal, costing at least $2 trillion."
"The Democrats have no interest in negotiating," he added.
So why aren't markets reacting more to the stimulus stalemate? Jim Cramer said stocks are more interested in looking to positive vaccine news and what it could mean for the future. Catch his full take in the video above.
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