Stocks have first back-to-back gains since sell-off began

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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NEW YORK (AP) Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Wednesday, but gave up much of an afternoon rally after CNBC reported that a dispute between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Republicans over unemployment aid could cause the coronavirus aid bill to be delayed.

The S&P 500 rose 1.2% after being up 5.1% earlier on hopes the package would be passed soon.

It was the first back-to-back gain since the outbreak set off a brutal sell-off five weeks ago.

The market is down by about a quarter from its record high set last month.

Investors expect markets to remain volatile until the number of new cases peaks.