NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks began the final week of 2020 slightly higher after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion economic aid package that helps reduce uncertainty amid the re-imposition of travel and business curbs in response to a new coronavirus variant.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.7 percent as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 175 points, or 0.6 percent, to 30,375 and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.7 percent.
Trump signed the measure, which also includes money for other government functions through September, despite expressing frustration that $600 payments to the public weren’t bigger. His signature helped to clear away uncertainty as reinstated travel and business curbs threaten to weigh on global economic activity.
Companies that were hit the hardest by the pandemic — restaurants, airlines and the cruise industry — were among the biggest gainers in early trading. American Airlines was up 4%, Norwegian Cruise Lines was up 2.7% and Carnival was up more than 2%.
European indexes were broadly higher, helped by more details about the European Union – United Kingdom trade deal as part of the U.K.’s exit from the trade bloc.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose less than 0.1% to 3,397.29 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.7% to 26,854.03.