Dow rises, S&P ends flat, Nasdaq drops after Trump pans $900B relief bill

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Dec. 23 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 100 points, the S&P 500 ended flat and the Nasdaq Composite dropped Wednesday after President Donald Trump criticized Congress’ $900 stimulus bill.

The Dow gained 114.32 points, or 0.38%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.075% and the Nasdaq declined 0.29% after Trump on Tuesday night called the stimulus package passed by Congress on Monday a “disgrace” and called on lawmakers to amend it by removing “unnecessary” spending and raising payments to individuals from $600 per person to $2,000 and $4,000 per couple.

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Democrats on Wednesday urged Republicans to act on Trump’s request to raise the amount for stimulus payments.

Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities told CNBC, that “odds are there is enough time” to alter the legislation and get it passed and signed.

“It feels like the market is following the rule of ‘watch what he does, not what he says’ in terms of the president’s late-night, drive-by shooting of the COVID aid package,” Hogan said.

The S&P’s energy sector rose 3.2%, while the financials gained 1.9% Wednesday.

Travel stocks also rebounded as concerns over a new strain of COVID-19 seemed to subside. Delta gained 3.37% and United Airlines increased 2.65%, while Norwegian Cruise Line grew 6.2% and Carnival climbed 5.7%.

Chris Larkin, managing director of ETrade financial’s trading and investing product, said the traders appear to be focusing on “more positive bull cases around each macro event.”

“We’re seeing the market choosing to see the cup half full, as it shrugs off the possibility of the stimulus bill failing and instead viewing it as a catalyst for larger stimulus cash in the pockets of consumers,” Larkin said.