• The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher on Wednesday, reflecting an upbeat pre-market session.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is pushing for a new bipartisan relief bill after talks broke down in August.
  • ADP says employers added 428,000 workers to payrolls in August, well below forecasts.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market opened higher on Wednesday, as investors reacted to economic data and discussions around a new stimulus package being pushed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq Open Higher

All of Wall Street’s major indexes opened higher on Wednesday, mirroring an upbeat futures session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 163 points or 0.6% en route to new six-month highs.

Dow Jones, DJIA

Dow Jones, DJIA

The Dow is trading at its highest level since February. | Chart: Yahoo Finance

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks rose 0.6%, with most major sectors reporting gains. Information technology and consumer companies are among the leaders. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.6% and is trading above 12,000.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs Tuesday, led by surging materials and technology companies.

Mnuchin Pushes for Bipartisan Relief Package

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told policymakers Tuesday that a new bipartisan stimulus bill should be reached despite a month-long impasse on the matter.

Speaking before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Mnuchin said:

We will continue to work with the Senate and House on a bipartisan basis for a phase four relief package. I believe a bipartisan agreement still should be reached.

Talks between Democrats and Republicans broke down in early August after both sides disagreed on the size and scope of a new stimulus deal. The impasse prompted President Trump to sign executive orders that would provide relief to millions of Americans through enhanced unemployment benefits, deferred student loan payments, and a payroll tax holiday. Watch the video below.

The U.S. economy recorded its worst-ever contraction in the second quarter amid the lockdown. While most economic indicators have improved, unemployment remains high.

On Wednesday, the ADP Research Institute said private-sector employers added 428,000 workers to payrolls in August, less than half of what analysts had expected.

ADP executive Ahu Yildirmaz said the U.S. labor market faces a “slow recovery” as Covid-19 continues to impact employment levels:

The August job postings demonstrate a slow recovery. Job gains are minimal, and businesses across all sizes and sectors have yet to come close to their pre-COVID-19 employment levels.

The Labor Department will release official nonfarm payrolls data Friday morning.