Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, as sentiment was supported by hopes of progress in ongoing U.S. budget talks.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.16%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.19%, while the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 0.47%.
Sentiment found support amid hopes U.S. lawmakers will reach an agreement in time to avoid automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect on January 1 which investors' fears could derail the U.S. recovery and threaten global growth.
On Monday, President Barack Obama made a counter-offer to Republicans that included a major change in position on tax hikes for the wealthy.
But investors remained cautious after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that the economic environment in the euro zone was challenging and was likely to remain so for some time to come.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as shares in Citigroup added 0.20% and JP Morgan climbed 0.57%, while Goldman Sachs and Bank of America jumped 1.09% and 1.82%.
Apple added to gains, with shares advancing 0.58% after the company was reiterated with an "outperform" rating at Cowen. In addition, rival Samsung Electronics said it will withdraw European injunction requests against the iPhone maker.
The news came after U.S. judge on Monday denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction against Samsung's smartphones.
Other stocks in focus included Oracle, slated to report earnings after the closing bell.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 advanced 0.42%, France's CAC 40 edged 0.12% higher, Germany's DAX climbed 0.48%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.37%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.08%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.21%.
Also Tuesday, data showed that the U.S. current account deficit narrowed in the third quarter of 2012, posting the smallest deficit since the fourth quarter of 2010.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said the country's current account deficit narrowed to a seasonally adjusted USD10753 billion in the third quarter, from a revised deficit of USD118.1 billion.
Analysts had expected the U.S. current account deficit to narrow to USD103.4 billion in the third quarter.
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