Major indexes in the US stock market opened higher Wednesday as investors await the Senate to approve increasing direct payments to millions of Americans.

The Dow Jones was up by almost 0.5% at 10.00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both up by around 0.4% each.

The House of Representatives voted Monday to raise COVID-19 stimulus payments to some 11 million jobless Americans to $2,000 from $600.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, blocked Tuesday the first attempt of the Democrat-controlled lower chamber’s proposal as Republicans are widely opposing the proposal despite the outgoing President Donald Trump’s support.

Without McConnell’s commitment to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote, investors are worried that lack of additional liquidity would curtail the bullish sentiment in the markets.

Investors, instead, turned their attention to safe bets on Wednesday such as precious metals, as gold was up 0.5% to $1,887 per ounce at 10.00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) and silver was at $26.4 an ounce for a 0.6% daily gain.

With the dollar index hovering below the critical threshold of $90, the weaker greenback continues to provide a strong buying opportunity for oil importing countries, and provides support for crude prices.

Price of Brent crude was around $51.6 per barrel at the same time, while American benchmark WTI was at $48.3 a barrel, both up by 0.7% each.

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