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US STOCKS-Stimulus bets drive Wall Street higher

Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan
·3 min read

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Senate Republicans set to vote on more payroll funding

* Insurer Travelers up after profit beat

* P&G gains after full-year sales forecast raise

* Netflix shares reverse course to trade lower ahead of results

* Indexes up: Dow 0.41%, S&P 0.36%, Nasdaq 0.23% (Adds comment, details; Updates prices)

By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Tuesday as investors hoped for more stimulus from Washington, with Senate Republicans preparing to vote on a bill to help small businesses hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will also talk again on Tuesday, after a 53-minute telephone conversation on Monday "continued to narrow their differences" about the coronavirus aid package, a Pelosi spokesman said on Twitter.

"It's mostly hopes that we are going to get a stimulus deal going today and we will have money in the pockets of majority of Americans who are suffering most from the pandemic," said David Trainer, chief executive officer of New Constructs, an investment research firm.

Uncertainty over the fiscal stimulus weighed on Wall Street's main indexes on Monday and analysts expect market turbulence to increase with only two weeks left until Election Day.

Latest national opinion polls pointed to a victory for Democratic challenger Joe Biden, which would mean a cooling in global trade friction, but higher taxes for corporate America.

Meanwhile, the third-quarter earnings season has gathered momentum. Of the 66 S&P 500 companies that have reported results, 86.4% have topped expectations for earnings, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Property and casualty insurer Travelers Cos Inc gained 3.7% as it beat quarterly profit expectations, while consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co advanced 1.2% as it raised its full-year sales and earnings forecast.

All 11 major S&P sectors were up with financials tracking U.S. Treasury yields.

At 11:23 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 137.42 points, or 0.49%, to 28,332.84 and the gained 18.13 points, or 0.54%, to 3,445.05. The Nasdaq Composite gained 45.05 points, or 0.39%, to 11,523.93.

Netflix Inc dipped 1% ahead of its third-quarter earnings report.

International Business Machines Corp edged past estimates for quarterly revenue on Monday, bolstered by higher demand for its cloud services. The company's shares, however, fell 3.3% after it stayed away from issuing a current-quarter forecast, citing economic uncertainty related to the pandemic.

The U.S. Justice Department and 11 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc's Google for allegedly breaking the law in using its market power to fend off rivals. Alphabet's shares were up 0.2%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.90-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.36-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 47 new highs and 17 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)