Stocks rallied Wednesday but ended below their best levels of the day after economic stimulus negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrapped up without an agreement for another round of aid.
The two pledged to keep on trying.
The Dow rallied 329 points. The S&P 500 gained 27. The Nasdaq rose 82.
Wednesday marked the end of the third quarter and the biggest back-to-back quarterly gains since 2009.... even though September was the first down month on Wall Street since the March sell-off.
Hercules Investments James McDonald isn't as optimistic as some on Wall Street. He thinks the market correction that began this month still has more room to go. He's predicting another 12 to 14 percent drop.
"And so I would advise mom and pop investors here to take your profits and move to cash. This is a safest bet. Trying to buy stocks here at this point is extremely dangerous, particularly with all the risk we've talked about with COVID, with a presidential election and then the unknown. We simply don't know how we're going to get a handle on getting our economy back on track."
There were signs of economic progress, however, in Wednesday's economic data.
Private hiring managers hit the gas pedal in September. 749,000 non-government jobs were added this month, according to private payroll company ADP. Investors hope that's a sign of what's to come when the government releases the more-comprehensive monthly jobs report on Friday.
In addition, contracts for home resales surged to a record last month.
In company news: a highly-sought after stock made its debut at the New York Stock Exchange. Data analytics firm Palantir jumped 30 percent on its first trading day. The company counts the CIA and other government agencies as some of its clients.