US stocks pull ahead as political resolve takes shape
Stocks on the American exchange continued their upward momentum, as Senate Democrats and Republicans inched closer to a resolution that would end the government shutdown and avoid breaching the debt limit. Both sides expressed a great deal of optimism in reaching a deal before the October 17 deadline, when the United States government will have exceeded its borrowing authority.
According to an anonymous Senate source close to the discussions, Democrats and Republicans are putting together a proposal that would fund the government through January 15, 2013, suspend the debt ceiling through February 15, 2014, and bring Congress together to discuss budget details no later than December 15. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reside and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are both optimistic a deal can get done before the Thursday deadline.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced more than 0.4 percent to 1,710.14, edging closer to its September 18 record high of 1,725.52. The benchmark index reversed an earlier drop of 0.7 percent. Netflix jumped more than 7.8 percent on news the company is looking to expanding its services to cable operators’ set-top boxes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 64 points to 15,301.30, with 22 of its 30 members registering gains. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) led the Dow’s gains, advancing at least 1.24 percent. The NASDAQ Composite added more than 23 points to 3,815.27, led by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) , which advanced at least 0.84 percent.
The US government shutdown is costing the economy more than $150 million each day. The impacts of the political impasse on the economy could be much greater should Democrats and Republicans fail to reach an agreement before the October 17 deadline. President Barrack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden postponed a meeting with congressional leaders in order to facilitate ongoing discussions at the Senate. Obama said “important progress” was made to ending the first government shutdown in 17 years.
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