US Stocks Move Broadly Higher

US Stocks Move Broadly Higher

(AP) -- Stocks rose broadly in morning trading on Wall Street as investors welcomed signals that a standoff in Congress over the federal debt ceiling is closer to a resolution.

The S&P 500 rose 1.4% as of 10:16 a.m. Eastern. Roughly 95% of stocks within the benchmark index gained ground. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 514 points, or 1.5%, to 34,930 and the Nasdaq rose 1.6%.

Markets in Europe and Asia were also broadly higher.

The market snapped out of a days-long bout of volatility late Wednesday after Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell made an offer that would allow an emergency extension of the debt ceiling into December.

The debt ceiling caps the amount of money the federal government can borrow and it needed to be raised by Oct. 18. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned that the nation would likely face a financial crisis and economic recession if Congress failed to do so.

The debt ceiling debate and the potential for an unprecedented federal default is one of many concerns weighing on the market. Those worries sent the benchmark S&P 500 swinging between daily gains and losses of more than 1% for four days.

Investors received another encouraging piece of news on Thursday after the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in four weeks. The labor market has been struggling to recover from the pandemic's initial impact 18 months ago when lockdowns from COVID-19 gutted jobs.

Wall Street will get another snapshot Friday of the job market and its recovery when the Labor Department releases its employment report for September.

Inflation remains a key concern for Wall Street and investors are closely watching the Federal Reserve for any shift in its timetable for raising interest rates. The Fed's policymaking committee recently signaled the central bank could start raising rates late next year. Analysts have said that the Fed could act sooner than expected if high inflation persists.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.55% from 1.52% late Wednesday.

COVID-19 continues to hamper the economic recovery following a surge of cases over the summer. Consumer spending and job growth was stunted and supply chain problems crimped operations in a wide range of industries.

More positive news on fighting off future spikes of the virus came from Pfizer on Thursday. It asked U.S. regulators to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. The drug developer's stock rose 1.9%.