U.S. stocks advanced, pushing S&P 500 near record levels, on speculation Republicans and Democrats would reach to an agreement before the government loses its ability to borrow money in three days.
The S&P 500 rose 0.4% to 1,710.14 at 4 p.m. in New York, reversing an earlier drop of as much as 0.7% for a fourth day of gains. The gauge is at its highest since Sept. 19 and within 16 points of its Sept. 18 record of 1,725.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 64.15 points, or 0.4%, to 15,301.26. About 5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 14% below the three-month average.
“The fact that we are having ongoing discussions and dialogue rather than rhetoric has led investors to become more confident that a deal will be struck,” said to Wall Street Journal, Paul Mangus, head of equity strategy and research for Wells Fargo Private Bank in Charlotte, N.C. Mr. Mangus said he is advising clients to remain neutral on the stock market and hedge against a decline if they are nervous.
Third-quarter earnings season resumes today with expected reports before the market opens from Citigroup Inc., Coca-Cola Co., Johnson & Johnson and Omnicom Group Inc. Yahoo Inc. and Intel Corp. are scheduled to report after the market closes.
Netflix rose 7.8% to $324.36, being the highest gainer among stocks in the Nasdaq 100 Index, which closed today at its highest level since 2000. The online video-streaming service is in talks to add its application to the set-top boxes of U.S. cable-television operators including Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc., according to three people familiar with the matter.
Expedia slid 6.2% to $48.51 as Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to hold from buy, citing transition risks following recent management changes at Expedia’s Hotels.com unit. The company faces increased competition in the U.S., Deutsche Bank’s Ross Sandler wrote in the note.
The New York Empire Manufacturing index is due to be released today followed by a statement by New York Fed Chairman William C. Dudley.