Stocks are higher today as Congress comes closer to a deal that would fund the government, but whether it is palatable to the Tea Party caucus in the House is still uncertain.
The Senate is nearing a deal to fund the government through January 15. The arrangement would prevent the US from defaulting on its debt on Thursday and extend the Treasury's authority to borrow through February 7. It will also force the government to hold budget talks by December 13. However, it contains no policy concessions from the Democrats, so there is no guarantee that the House will be able to pass it. It might not even make its way out of the Senate before the deadline since Senator Ted Cruz hasn't ruled out a filibuster.
In earnings news, Citigroup ( C ), the country's third largest lender, missed profit expectations. The bank earned $3.23 billion or $1 per share, up from $0.15 a year ago. Analysts expected $1.02 per share. The bank is cutting costs to offset poor bond trading and a declining market for mortgages.
Coca-Cola Co. ( KO ) reported that its third-quarter earnings met expectations, rising to $2.45 billion, or $0.53 per share. Sales fell 3% to $12.03 billion, however, since they were hurt by currency volatility in emerging markets in the wake of the Federal Reserve's taper announcement.
Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) beat expectations, earning $1.04 per share in the third quarter. Revenue rose to $17.58 billion from $17.05 billion a year ago, partly thanks to painkiller sales.
Apple ( AAPL ) hired Burberry Group (LON:BRBY) CEO Angela Ahrendts for a newly created position of senior vice president of retail and online stores.
Index futures are mostly higher this morning, but after Citi disappointed, futures pared gains. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.05% at 15,233, and contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 0.08% to 1,703.00. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.10% to 3,251.50.
European shares are also higher. Germany's DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) hit a record high today as the ZEW Survey showed that business expectations rose to 52.8 from 49.2.
After today's close, Yahoo ( YHOO ) and Intel (INTC) will both report earnings. Analysts expect Yahoo to book $0.33 per share and Intel to report $0.53 per share.
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