Stocks rose again Friday, extending the Thursday's rally, as investors bet that the partial government shutdown and the battle over a looming U.S. default would finally be settled.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 111 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,237, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,703, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rose 31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,791.
One motivation for investors Friday was the chance an agreement could come over the weekend, when the Senate is expected to vote on extending the federal borrowing limit through January 2015.
Energy stocks led the S&P 500 up after the Environmental Protection Agency proposed lowering the required amount of ethanol to be blended into U.S. gasoline after Thursday's market close.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Tesoro (TSO) led the sector, rising 3.8 percent to $45.18 despite a report Thursday from Reuters that a Tesoro pipeline spilled more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil onto a North Dakota farm.
In economic news, the University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell in October to its weakest in nine months and was below expectations.
In commodities trading, benchmark crude for November delivery fell $1.12 or 1 percent to $101.89, while gold, a popular choice for some investors during times of uncertainty, fell $28.70, or 2.2 percent, to $1,268.20 an ounce Friday. That's gold's lowest price since late July.
More Stocks in the News:
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) ended the day flat at $52.52 after adjusted earnings beat expectations, despite absorbing a $9.2 billion reserve for litigation expenses.
Wells Fargo (WFC) gained 2 cents to $41.46, despite reporting lower third-quarter revenue as mortgage activity slowed.
Gap (GPS) sank 6.7 percent to $36.82 after it reported a 3 percent drop in sales for September. Analysts had expected a gain of 1.6 percent. Gap was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500.
Safeway (SWY) rose 6.9 percent to $33.75, the biggest gain in the S&P 500 index. The grocery store operator said late Thursday that it plans to sell its Chicago-area Dominick's stores, allowing it to concentrate on its more profitable business.
Micron Technology (MU) fell 8.6 percent to $16.84 after the flash memory maker's quarterly profit left some investors wanting more.
Shares of Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY) slid 0.6 percent to $48.88 after a Jeffries analyst lowered his rating on the shares, calling them "our least preferred U.S. stock." The analyst lowered his rating on the stock to "underperform" from "hold" and dropped his price target on the shares to $40 from $49.
Spirit Airlines (SAVE) soared 14.9 percent to $39.12 and briefly reached an all-time high, as the company lifted its third-quarter outlook following strong September traffic results.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) plunged for the second time this week, after the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating reports of dangerous blood clots with the company's leukemia drug disclosed on Wednesday. Ariad shares fell $1.16 or 21.4 percent, to $4.25.
What to Watch Monday:
Monday is Columbus Day, a federal holiday. The bond market will be closed, but stock and commodities markets will be open.
-Compiled from staff and wire reports.