Stocks rose Tuesday as traders considered the latest batch of corporate earnings results and mulled prospects of another robust stimulus proposal getting passed.
The S&P 500 hit a record intraday high, and the Nasdaq also advanced. The Dow shook off Monday’s declines as shares of Dow components Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and 3M (MMM) jumped after their fourth-quarter results and full-year forecast topped estimates.
Stocks this week have also been closely tracking traders’ assessments of the path forward for more fiscal stimulus, especially as concerns over new variants of the coronavirus and a disorderly vaccine roll-out raise the specter of longer-term virus-related damage to the economy.
President Joe Biden has been pushing to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal through a hesitant Congress but said during a new conference on Monday that he was “open to negotiate” some points of the proposal, including his call for additional direct checks of $1,400 for most Americans.
In terms of timing, however, hopes for a speedy passage of another stimulus package dimmed, after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he aimed to advance the next round of virus relief legislation by mid-March, Bloomberg reported Monday.
“I anticipate the stimulus bill to get passed, but I think it is going to likely take several weeks for that to happen. We have a divided Congress, a $1.9 trillion proposed bill after a $900 billion bill that just went through in December, so I don’t think the $1.9 trillion is likely to even be passed,” Colleen MacPherson, Penobscot Investment Management director of research, told Yahoo Finance. “But I do think that in the stimulus bill, it will be more targeted to individuals. We might not have that $1,400 in direct payments. There likely will be negotiations there. And I don’t think that the federal minimum wage will be [raised] to $15.”
Meanwhile, investors are also closely monitoring this week’s packed schedule of corporate earnings results and economic data. Notable companies including Raytheon Technologies (RTX), General Electric (GE), DR Horton (DHI), Lockheed Martin (LMT), American Express (AXP), and Verizon (VZ), the parent company of Yahoo Finance, each reported results Tuesday morning, and Microsoft (MSFT) and Starbucks (SBUX) are due to report results after market close.