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  • Dow Jones Industrial Average added 113.96 points, or 0.38%.
  • The S&P 500 put on 2.72 points, or 0.07% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 36.80 points, or 0.29%.

US benchmarks moved higher into the final sessions ahead of Christmas as investors banked on a stimulus deal. Falling jobless claims also encouraged investors back into the market and to look through the threat of the coronavirus variant.

Initially, global markets were cautious as President Donald Trump threatened to veto a $2.3 trillion funding package, which also includes a long-awaited $892 billion pandemic relief deal.

However, economic data showed a welcome decrease in jobless claims and an uptick in new orders for durable goods. Also,  Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union appeared more likely after a senior European diplomat told Reuters that an agreement could be imminent.

”The fact that equity indices traded mostly in the green this morning reflects consensus expectations that Trump will signs the budget into law – though he could wait until the eleventh hour,” analysts at Rabobank said.

”Assuming the US budget is signed into law in the coming sessions, it is likely to boost expectations regarding US economic output in Q1.”

Consequently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 113.96 points, or 0.38%, to 30,129.47, the S&P 500  gained 2.72 points, or 0.07%, to 3,689.98 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 36.80 points, or 0.29%, to 12,771.11.

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc PFE climbed following a deal with the United States to supply 100 million additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by July.

”Merck & Co Inc MRK agreed to supply the US government with up to 100,000 doses of its COVID-19 treatment, sending its stock higher,” Reuters reported.