The markets closed in the green as investors looked through new jobless claims data and received less than optimistic news on prospects for more stimulus from the White House. The Final Round panel discusses the latest.
SEANA SMITH: Welcome back to "The Final Round" here on Yahoo Finance. I'm Seana Smith. That bell signals that we are at the end of the trading day. We have the stocks rising for a second day in a row, although we did close off the highs of the day. The Dow closing up just over 120 points. The S&P up just around 8/10 of a percent. And the NASDAQ up about a half of a percent today.
I mentioned we are off the highs of the day. We saw that pullback earlier today after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that there will not be a standalone bill for airlines without a bigger package. This, of course, comes after President Trump had been pushing for a standalone package over the last 24 hours.
Taking a look at the sector action today, the bounce in energy is certainly standing out here, with crude jumping up just around 3% back above $41 a barrel, but over a 3% gain in the XLE today. And then when you see names like Exxon up just around 5%, Chevron up around 2% here, helping move energy at least in the right direction, we know, obviously, that has been a trade that has been [? beamed ?] down here for quite some time.
We're also seeing investors favor some of those defensive plays. Utilities and real estate are also amongst the top performers today. Utilities up for seven days in a row. We're also seeing that rotation into the cyclical names continue. FedEx, Caterpillar, Deere-- those three stocks amongst those names hitting all-time highs today.
And then on the econ front, we got another reading on jobless claims. 840,000 people filing for first time claims last week. That number has been above 800,000 for every week since March, since the beginning of the pandemic here in the US. And remember that this week's number does not count the state of California, where we know claims have remained persistently high for quite some time.
But I want to bring in my co-host for the next half hour. We have Jen Rogers. She's in for Myles Udland. We're also joined by Rick Newman, Akiko Fujita, and Jared Blikre here to help us break down today's action.
And Jen, I'll send it over to you first, just in terms of the action that we saw today. I think there's lots of question marks out there about whether or not we could maybe have a miracle and see some sort of stimulus being pushed through.
But I think when we take a look at the fact that we did close off the highs of the day, and that pullback came after we got the headline out from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it clearly shows that the markets do care and are still hopeful that something will come through.
JEN ROGERS: Yeah, the market seems to think that they're not going to get punished, like a kid that keeps-- you know, their parent keeps saying, like, I'm going to do this to you. And they're like, yeah, no, you're not. It's going to be fine. And it kind of feels like the market thinks in the end, the stimulus is going to get through. Some money is going to get there.
Now they could be totally wrong. There are so many unknowns right now in terms of the election and the timing, as we just heard from Jess Smith as well. So it might not happen before the election, but I do think that the market sees there's something in here.
I also want to call up some of the moves that we are seeing in financials today. XLF here up about 1.3% because we had this deal from Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley stringing together their pearls.
Of course, they already went after E-Trade, now going after Eaton Vance, trying to get their assets under management higher and higher. So Eaton Vance making a big move. It basically is up some 50% today. But we are seeing that kind of trail through on some of the other financial names as well here.
And of course, also the IBM news. I mean, it's kind of like a little bit of M&A action with the Eaton Vance news and also on IBM, even though that's not really a merger or an acquisition. It's a parting. But still, we're seeing a lot of either financial engineering or deals as people try to move the needle here.
SEANA SMITH: Yeah, we certainly are. And it's interesting when you bring up the Morgan Stanley deal because we know that Morgan Stanley has been a big player in wealth management for quite some time.
So the big bank announcing that this acquisition is going to boost its assets under management for the investment division to just around $1.2 trillion in revenue to $5 billion. So of course, enhancing their market share there, at least in that division. So certainly something to watch here going forward.