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Investors Hopeful on Stimulus; Devon, WPX Merge

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The pre-market gains to start the week built and held as the day moved on, with the Nasdaq climbing 1.8% or 204 points, followed by +1.6% on the S&P 500 or 53 points, with the Dow up 410 points or 1.5%. No headlines, economic or otherwise, dragged positive sentiment into the close; it was already there — based on a relatively oversold market through most of last week, with bargain-shopping investors looking to get in on the rebound trade.

News reports that the two sides on Capitol Hill have not given up on a new relief bill helped airline companies like American (AAL - Free Report) and JetBlue (JBLU - Free Report) , both up over 3% Monday, as the airline industry had begun to lament that as many as 30K workers in the industry may need to be furloughed. Any package deal reached by Congress would provide a shot in the arm to the economy, at least in the near term, as the momentum looks to be lagging with a pandemic stubbornly sticking around into the fall, hampering businesses reliant on somewhat normal trends in consumer spending.

Energy stocks performed well today, as an all-stock merger between Devon Energy (DVN - Free Report) and WPX (WPX - Free Report) came out today, to the tune of around $12 billion overall. The merger would create a bigger player in the Permian Basin, and comes at a time when oil and gas prices are off their multi-year lows. Colder weather months and a continuing — if lurching — Great Reopening look to be catalysts for the Energy space overall, moving forward.

We’ll see Case-Shiller home prices, Advance Trade in Goods and Consumer Confidence reads tomorrow, ahead of the initial presidential debate Tuesday evening. Much focus will be on the debate as the two-year cycle of primaries to November 3rd’s General Election brings a political reckoning to American policies, both for the end of 2020 and the next 2-4 years. Early voting in many states has already begun, however, with more states being added over time; perhaps this year presidential debates will have less impact than we’ve seen in recent elections?

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