Stocks Rise After Debt-Ceiling Deal
Microsoft shares rose 1.7%. Reports said Tuesday that Microsoft could invest as much as $3 billion in an eventual takeover of struggling PC maker Dell(DELL) . Dell shares were down 0.3% after jumping Tuesday on the reports.
In the broad market, sectors were mixed, led lower by consumer cyclicals, utilities and basic materials. The technology, services and consumer non-cyclicals climbed.
Volumes rose to 3.51 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.69 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners edged advancers by a ratio of 1.1-to-1 on the Big Board and 1.4-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives overwhelmingly extended the debt ceiling out to May 19 by a 285-144 vote.
President Barack Obama indicated Tuesday that he would not oppose the plan, while U.S. Senator Harry Reid said he is happy to see the clean debt ceiling legislation in the House, and that it's a "big step in the right direction."
"The worst fears of a disorderly default ... in early March won't come to pass, apparently," RBS strategists said.
The economic calendar was thin Wednesday. The FHFA Housing Price Index rose 0.6% for November after rising by an upwardly revised 0.6% the prior month.
According to Thomson Reuters data, the blended estimate for the fourth quarter, which reflects reported results and analyst expectations, is for year-over-year growth of 2.7% for the S&P 500, up from 0.1% in the third quarter. Seventeen percent of S&P 500 companies have reported so far.
Gold for February delivery fell $6.50 to settle at $1,686.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures slipped $1.45 cents at $95.23 a barrel.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 4/32, diluting the yield to 1.832%. The dollar was ticking up by 0.06%, according to the U.S. dollar index.