US stocks gain as Pelosi pressures Republicans to pass $2,000 stimulus checks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Alex Wong/Getty Images; Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

  • US stocks gained on Wednesday as President Trump said that he wants Congress to increase the stimulus checks included in the anticipated coronavirus relief deal to $2,000 from $600.
  • Democrats are on board with increasing the amount of direct payments to Americans, with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi responding to Trump’s demand with, “Let’s do it!”
  • With a government shutdown deadline fast approaching and much of Congress home for the holidays, a swift passage of an altered stimulus deal seems unlikely.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks gained on Wednesday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressured Republicans to get on board with President Trump’s request to increase the planned $600 stimulus checks included in the upcoming coronavirus relief package to $2,000.

In a video announcement on Tuesday, Trump signaled he may veto the stimulus deal passed by Congress this week, expressing disappointment in the size of stimulus checks and other spending initiatives attached to the bill.

Democrats were on board with Trump’s request. House majority leader Nancy Pelosi responded by saying “Let’s do it!” Pelosi is now putting pressure on the GOP to approve an amendment to the bill via unanimous consent, which is necessary given that most of Congress is already home for the holidays.

Pelosi tweeted, “Mr. President, sign the bill to keep government open! Urge McConnell and McCarthy to agree with the Democratic unanimous consent request for $2,000 direct payments! This can be done by noon on Christmas Eve!” 

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

  • S&P 500: 3,689.98, up 0.07%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 30,129.47, up 0.38% (113.96 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 12,771.11, down 0.29%

Read more: ‘It could be a Roaring 20s that will end badly’: An equities chief who oversees over $7 billion shares his investing playbook and major predictions for 2021 and beyond

Pfizer and the US government reached a new deal worth nearly $2 billion for 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. 70 million additional doses would be available to the US by the end of June 2021, with an additional 30 million doses available by the end of July 2021.

Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that during the darkest days of Tesla amid the Model 3 ramp up, he reached out to Apple’s Tim Cook about a potential deal between the two companies, but Cook wouldn’t take the meeting.

XL Fleet jumped as much as 68% after the electric vehicle company went public via SPAC on Tuesday.

Ripple’s XRP token has fallen as much as 30% after the SEC filed a lawsuit against the cryptocurrency firm for running a $1.3 billion unregistered offering.

Nikola fell as much as 12% after it ended a collaboration with Republic Services to develop and manufacture electric garbage trucks.

Oil prices edged higher. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 2.13%, to $48.02 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 2.14%, to $49.20 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold rose 0.3%, to $1,875.90 per ounce.

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