After slumping as much as 1.7% after trading began, the S&P 500 wavered through the day before cutting its loss to 0.5% by the afternoon. Most stocks across the market were higher, including two out of three in the S&P 500.
The paring of losses came as optimism rose that Washington may be able to get past its partisanship to deliver more support for the economy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told airlines in the afternoon to stop furloughing workers because aid for them is imminent. She said a wider rescue package for the economy, one that investors have long been agitating for, could also perhaps be on the way.