Stocks Rally to Gains on Planned Meeting in Washington

Michael Teague |

Stocks edged up to kick off a new week of trading on Monday, as a proposed meeting between congressional leaders and President Obama looked to be the first substantial sign that Washington is close to breaking the deadlock over the lifting of the debt ceiling.

With the deadline to raise the nation’s debt-ceiling set for Thursday, stocks slumped in morning activity after it looked as though the weekend had produced no prospects for a compromise. The announcement of the meeting that was to take place at 3 PM between the President and House and Senate leaders from both parties lifted hopes for at least a temporary respite from the prevailing uncertainty, allowing stocks to pare back earlier losses. The postponement of the meeting, ostensibly in order to give the Senate “more time,” did not dampen the rally.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed 0.41 percent higher at 1,710.14 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.42 percent to 15,301.26, and the NASDAQ added 0.62 percent for a closing tally of 3,815.27.

The highest-volume gains on the S&P 500 were claimed by financial and tech stocks. Large financial institutions Bank of America (BAC) , Citigroup (C) , and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) closed higher on heavy trading, as did Micron Technology (MU) and Microsoft (MSFT) . Streaming content provider Netflix (NFLX) jumped over 7 percent on the day after news emerged indicating that the company was in talks with cable provider Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) in a deal that would see the latter’s cable boxes feature a Netflix streaming application.

The Dow saw most of its components close the day higher, led by drug manufacturer Pfizer (PFE) and aerospace and defense contractor Boeing (BA) . Drug manufacturer Merck & Co (MRK) was the benchmark index’s worst performer, followed by the telecoms, AT&T (T) and Verizon Communications (VZ) .

The NASDAQ saw Facebook (FB) up on the heaviest trading after the company announced its acquisition of the data compression company Onavo, along with a number of tech shares including Cisco Systems (CSCO) , Intel Corporation (INTC) , and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) . Tech giant Apple Inc. (AAPL) edged its way closer to the $500 per share mark, and Antares Pharmaceuticals (ATRS) advanced substantially after gaining FDA approval for an arthritis treatment it had been testing.

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
AAPL Apple Inc. 114.48 -1.11 -0.96 31,385,684
ATRS Antares Pharma Inc. 1.75 0.02 1.16 416,013
BA Boeing Company (The) 143.31 -2.23 -1.53 7,845,124
BAC Bank of America Corporation 16.91 0.04 0.24 97,796,993
C Citigroup Inc. 49.93 -0.08 -0.16 19,155,248
CMCSA Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock 61.48 -1.08 -1.73 22,473,101
CSCO Cisco Systems Inc. 30.38 -0.17 -0.56 16,905,276
FB Facebook Inc. 129.69 -1.35 -1.03 16,606,551
INNZY Independent N & M Unsp/Adr n/a n/a n/a 0
INTC Intel Corporation 34.81 -0.11 -0.32 14,626,659
JPM JP Morgan Chase 69.23 0.10 0.14 14,179,772
MRK Merck & Company Inc. (new) 61.29 0.42 0.69 10,339,575
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 60.10 -0.53 -0.87 28,426,905
MU Micron Technology Inc. 17.53 -0.11 -0.62 21,171,388
NFLX Netflix Inc. 126.47 -0.50 -0.39 6,897,990
PFE Pfizer Inc. 32.48 0.08 0.25 17,717,552
T AT&T Inc. 36.52 0.09 0.25 43,144,180
VOD Vodafone Group Plc 27.85 -0.11 -0.39 3,904,421
VZ Verizon Communications Inc. 48.54 0.91 1.91 22,323,861


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