US STOCKS-Wall Street ends with solid gains; investors hail U.S. debt-ceiling truce

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(For a Businesshala live blog on the US, UK and European stock markets, click/ or type live/ in a news window.)

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* US Senate rushes to push for $480 billion debt-limit increase

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* US weekly jobless claims fell sharply

*Consumer Discretionary and Content Key Sectors

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* Levi Strauss shares jump after profit-booking

* Index jumps: Dow 1.45%, S&P 1.38%, Nasdaq 1.66% (update as session ends)

By Noel Randevich, Lewis Kraskoff and Devik Jain

October 7 (Businesshala) – Wall Street ended sharply higher on Thursday in a broad-based rally led by heavyweight technology stocks, as the debt-limit deadlock in the US Congress eased concerns of a possible government debt default this month .

Mega-cap stocks including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp jumped and were the biggest boosts for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

The US Senate took a step toward passing a $480 billion increase in the Treasury Department’s lending authorization that would prevent another partisan showing by December.

Uncertainty over debt-ceiling talks was a concern investors cited in September as the S&P 500 reported its biggest monthly percentage drop since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

“Today (the market) is driven by a modest move in Washington toward rationality about being able to pay your bills, write some checks,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, data showed last week the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell by the steepest in three months, suggesting a recovery in the labor market was gaining momentum as COVID-19 slowed down. The latest wave of -19 infections was beginning to subside.

The closely watched monthly US jobs report is due out on Friday.

Brad Neumann, Algeria’s director of market strategy, said: “Today’s numbers reinforce the expectation that there will be a significant move in employment in the coming months, and I think it’s positive for the economy.”

“Markets climbed a wall of worry today as fears of a credit-limit deadlock eased and hopes of a pick-up in job gains strengthened.”

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1% higher at 34,760.34 points, while the S&P 500 closed 0.83% higher at 4,399.82.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.04% to end at 14,653.38.

The S&P 500 Materials and Consumer Discretionary indices were among the strongest performers of 11 sectors.

US-traded Chinese stocks including Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings raised concerns about US-China trade relations and Evergrande’s debt crisis appeared to be easing.

Investors will soon turn their attention to third-quarter earnings reports that will begin arriving in earnest next week. According to Refinitiv, analysts expect average earnings per share of S&P 500 companies to rise 29% in the third quarter.

Shares of Levi Strauss & Co jumped after the jeans maker beat third-quarter revenue and profit estimates. (Reporting by Lewis Kraskoff in New York, Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Noel Randwich; Editing by Soumyadev Chakraborty, Maju Samuel and David Gregorio)

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