GLOBAL MARKETS-S&P edges higher, oil advances as Senate considers expanded stimulus

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-S&P edges higher, oil advances as Senate considers expanded stimulus
Credit: © Reuters.

* S&P advances; Dow, Nasdaq slip

* European stocks rise on vaccine rollout, Brexit deal

* Crude prices rise on hopes for demand rebound

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E (Updates to U.S. market open, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street struggled on Tuesday to build on the previous session's record closing highs and crude oil gained ground as investors looked to Washington for signs that an enhanced stimulus package would pass a Senate vote.

The S&P 500 and the Dow pared early gains and the Nasdaq was flat as market participants balanced near-term challenges with longer-term hopes for economic recovery and a return to healthy demand.

"You have government economic assistance coupled with Brexit, which is pushing stocks up in Europe, Britain and the U.S.," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. "But you have the $2000 bonus passing the House and if the Senate doesn't, they look like Grinches.

"You have to take these days between the holidays with a grain of salt because there's limited liquidity," Tuz added.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Monday to meet President Donald Trump's demand for $2,000 direct payments to Americans as part of the recently signed fiscal relief bill, sending the measure to the Republican-controlled Senate. trials and distribution gather momentum around the world as global COVID-19 cases https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 surpass 81 million and deaths approach 1.8 million. In the United States, there have been more than 19 million cumulative cases and nearly 335,000 deaths. Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 21.86 points, or 0.07%, to 30,382.11, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.27 points, or 0.09%, to 3,738.63 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 1.91 points, or 0.01%, to 12,897.51.

European stocks extended their year-end rally in the wake of the Brexit trade deal and as the European Union vaccination program got underway. pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.80% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.51%.

Emerging market stocks rose 1.01%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.98% higher, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 2.66%.

Crude prices advanced on the prospect of expanded pandemic aid, which could boost demand and spur economic growth. crude CLcv1 rose 1.15% to $48.17 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $51.41 per barrel, up 1.06% on the day.

U.S. Treasury yields were little changed in choppy trading, and the yield curve was slightly steeper as investors awaited the Senate's response to the higher stimulus check approved by the House. 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 1/32 in price to yield 0.9347%, from 0.933% late on Monday.

The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last fell 5/32 in price to yield 1.675%, from 1.669% late on Monday.

The dollar dipped and the euro gained ground as fiscal aid and the Brexit trade deal prompted forex traders to favor riskier currencies. dollar index .DXY fell 0.41%, with the euro EUR= up 0.25% to $1.2244.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.22% versus the greenback at 103.58 per dollar, while Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.3496, up 0.35% on the day.

Gold prices advanced as the dollar weakened on the prospect of more robust stimulus payments. gold XAU= added 0.4% to $1,878.58 an ounce.

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