Signs that lawmakers in Washington were moving closer to reaching an agreement over the debt ceiling and the government shutdown helped push stocks higher during volatile trading Monday, reversing earlier losses.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 64 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 15,301, though the blue chip index had been down as much as 100 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GSPC) added 7 points, or 0.4 percent, at 1,710 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 23 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,815.
President Barack Obama was scheduled to meet with several congressional leaders, and while the White House said the meeting had been delayed, signs of negotiations were taken as a positive by the market.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who began talks on Saturday, appeared together on the Senate floor and expressed optimism a deal could be made final within days.
The United States will reach the limit of its borrowing authority Thursday, according to estimates from the Treasury Department. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%If the debt ceiling isn't raised, investors fear the U.S. could default on its borrowings in the coming weeks.
Stocks rose sharply late last week on news that progress had been made in talks between House Republicans and the White House.
In Monday action, bond trading was closed for Columbus Day. In commodities trading, benchmark crude for November delivery rose 39 cents to $102.41, while gold rose $7.00, or 0.5 percent, to $1,275.
In corporate news, Netflix (NFLX) shares rose 7.8 percent at $324.44 after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is in talks with several U.S. cable television companies, including Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) and Suddenlink Communications, to make its streaming video service available through their set-top boxes.
South Korean tire-maker Hankook announced plans to build its first North American plant in Tennessee, creating 1,800 jobs. The world's seventh-largest tire maker said it will build the $800 million facility in Clarksville, where Japanese tire maker Bridgestone has a steel cord plant. Nissan, General Motors (GM) and Volkswagen have assembly plants in Tennessee, and more than 900 other automotive sector companies are active in the state.
More Stocks in the News:
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shifted higher after a Wedbush analyst upgraded the stock to "Outperform" form "Neutral," saying the chip maker should finish 2013 in strong form. The stock advanced 3.7 percent to $3.97.
Merck (MRK) fell 53 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $46.76 after another analyst lowered his rating on the drug developer, which recently announced job cuts and is dealing with the expiration of patents protecting some of its key products.
Washing machine manufacturer Whirlpool (WHR) fell 6.5 to $131.28, after a note from Cleveland Research pointed to softening demand for appliances.
Amarin (AMRN) shares lost 9 cents to $5.00 Monday, despite analysts saying that regulators will probably grant a broader marketing approval for Amarin's triglyceride drug Vascepa. A panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers is scheduled to review Vascepa, a fish oil drug, Wednesday.
FICO (FICO) slipped 4.7 percent to $54.66 after the company cut its fiscal full-year earnings and revenue forecasts. The provider of credit scores and analysis technology for businesses now foresees full-year earnings of $2.47 to $2.51 a share on fiscal 2013 revenue of $741 million to $743 million.
Benefitfocus (BNFT) climbed 15.2 percent to $48.21 after two analysts started coverage of the human resources software provider with a "Buy" rating, saying the company is likely to capitalize during a time of big changes in the health care sector. Benefitfocus, based in Charleston, S.C., went public in September.
What to Watch Tuesday:
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases its survey of manufacturing activity for October at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
These major companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Domino's Pizza (DPZ)
Charles Schwab (SCHW)
-Compiled from staff and wire reports.