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U.S. stocks gain on hopes for debt ceiling deal; Dow gains 0.39%

Posted: 1/18/2013 5:14:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: - U.S. stock prices erased earlier losses sustained on weaker-than-expected consumer sentiment data and finished near five-year highs on Friday on talk congressional Republicans will agree to lift the government's debt ceiling.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.39%, the S&P 500 index was up 0.34%, while the Nasdaq Composite index slipped 0.04%.

Stocks dipped earlier after data revealed that The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary index of U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 71.3 in January - its lowest level since December 2011 - from 72.9 in December, disappointing expectations for an improvement to 75.0.

Many investors fled to the safety of the dollar on fears the U.S. economy still faces stiff headwinds, as consumer spending drives about 70% of the country's total output.

Towards the closing bell, however, stocks rose after congressional Republicans said they would hike the debt ceiling if Senate Democrats pass a budget proposal.

Fears congressional bickering similar to the 2011 debt-ceiling debates dampened stock prices in recent sessions, as markets roiled two years ago when lawmakers waited until the last second to lift the government's borrowing limit, nearly throwing the government into default.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included General Electric, up 3.52%, Caterpillar, up 1.89%, and DuPont, up 1.42%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Intel, down 6.31%, American Express, down 1.53%, and Bank of America, down 1.24%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished largely lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.34%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.07%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down 0.43%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.47%. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.
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