Stocks rally with eyes on stimulus talks

A volatile trading session Thursday as economic stimulus talks continued to grind on.

There was optimism on the side of the Democrats by way of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"So I'm pleased that we have reached a point where we at least...they still haven't completely signed off on it....but I think we're just about there."

But Senate Republicans remained skeptical of a possible deal costing trillions of dollars.

Stocks gyrated with all the back and forth but hope prevailed in the end with Wall Street scoring gains across the board.

And there were more mixed signals from the economy. New claims for unemployment benefits improved last week, coming in below 800,000… though that is still stuck at historically high levels.

Peter Cardillo is chief market strategist at Spartan Capital Securities.

"Today's number obviously points in the right direction and we're seeing some movement but we still have a long way to go. You know, you still have high levels of unemployed. And if we don't get a stimulus package soon, a lot of the unemployed are going to be losing their benefits."

A staggering 23.2 million Americans were on unemployment benefits at the beginning of October.

On the other hand, the housing market continues to boom.

Home resales surged to a 14-year high in September. Sales are largely being driven by record-low mortgage rates and a rush away from crowded cities.

One part of the economy desperately hoping for another round of stimulus: the airlines - where the global health crisis has led to a precipitous plunge in air travel.

Southwest Airlines posted its biggest-ever quarterly loss. The domestic air carrier lost more than $1 billion over the last three months.

And American Airlines posted a $2.5 billion quarterly loss. Its third straight money-losing quarter in a row.

But both companies are burning through less cash per day - sending their stocks higher.

Video Transcript

[BELL RINGING]

- A volatile trading session Thursday, as economic stimulus talks continued to grind on. There was optimism on the side of the Democrats by way of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

NANCY PELOSI: So I'm pleased that we have reached a point where we at least-- we still haven't-- they still haven't completely signed off on it, but I think we're just about there.

- But Senate Republicans remain skeptical of a possible deal costing trillions of dollars. Stocks gyrated with all the back and forth. But hope prevailed in the end, with Wall Street scoring gains across the board.

And there were more mixed signals from the economy. New claims for unemployment benefits improved last week, coming in below 800,000, though that is still stuck at historically high levels.

Peter Cardillo is Chief Market Strategist at Spartan Capital Securities.

PETER CARDILLO: Today's number obviously points in the right direction and we're seeing some movement. But we still have a long way to go. You know, you still have high levels of unemployed. And if we don't get a stimulus package soon, a lot of the unemployed are going to be losing their benefits.

- A staggering 23.2 million Americans were on unemployment benefits at the beginning of October.

On the other hand, the housing market continues to boom. Home resales surged to a 14-year high in September. Sales are largely being driven by record low mortgage rates and a rush away from crowded cities.

One part of the economy desperately hoping for another round of stimulus, the airlines, where the global health crisis has led to a precipitous plunge in air travel. Southwest Airlines posted its biggest ever quarterly loss. The domestic air carrier lost more than $1 billion over the last three months. And American Airlines posted a $2.5 billion quarterly loss, its third straight money-losing quarter in a row. But both companies are burning through less cash per day, sending their stocks higher.