Dow snaps 2-day skid as stock market shakes off coronavirus restrictions to focus on fresh hope of fiscal aid

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U.S. equity benchmarks closed higher Thursday, erasing opening losses, with investors buoyed by hopes that Washington lawmakers still could come together and pass a coronavirus relief package to limit the economic damage wrought by the pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session up 45 points, or 0.2%, at around 29.,483, the S&P 500 index finished the day up 0.4% at 3,582, while the Nasdaq Composite Index produced the best gain among its peers, up 103 points, or 0.9%, to reach about 11,905. All closing levels are on a preliminary basis. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said Mitch McConnell agreed to restart negotiations over a new coronavirus aid relief package. Up to now, Republicans and Democrats were disputing the size and scope of a potential aid bill and another round of aid is viewed as a potential next catalyst for stocks. Markets had traded mixed as investors focused on New York City, which announced the closure of all public schools after its positivity rate from virus tests reached a seven-day average of 3%-the threshold set to keep schools open.

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