US stocks end higher as $600 stimulus checks set to arrive this week

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  • US stocks closed higher on Wednesday as $600 stimulus checks were set to hit the bank accounts of millions of Americans later this week, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
  • Investors also cheered the UK’s decision to grant emergency use authorization to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks gained on Wednesday as $600 stimulus checks were set to be deposited into millions of Americans bank accounts later this week, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

The stimulus checks could be increased if the Senate takes up the vote and passes a measure from the House that would increase the size of the payments to $2,000.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declined to bring the measure up for a vote and has said insisted that any additional stimulus check measure should be attached to the repeal of section 230 and a commission focused on election fraud. 

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

  • S&P 500: 3,732.04, up 0.13%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 30,409.56, up 0.24% (73.89 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 12,870.00, up 0.15%

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The UK granted emergency use authorization to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine was developed in partnership with Oxford University and it doesn’t require the extreme cold temperature storage like other vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.

Shares of AstraZeneca jumped as much as 3% following the UK’s decision to grant emergency use authorization for the vaccine. 

Oil prices edged higher. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 0.54%, to $48.26 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.78%, to $51.49 per barrel.

Gold rose as much as 0.76%, to $1,897.30 per ounce.

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