Stocks: Budget deal hopes prevail

  @CNNMoneyInvest December 19, 2012: 8:51 AM ET
sp500 futures 823

Click on chart for more premarket data.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

I think they can... I think they can...

Investors are beginning to believe that politicians in Washington can resolve the fiscal cliff stand-off after weeks of gridlock. U.S. stocks rose Tuesday amid signs that a deal is taking shape, and stock futures were firm early Wednesday.

Fitch ratings agency repeated a warning Wednesday that it may strip the U.S. of its AAA credit rating if Washington is unable to strike a deal soon to avert the fiscal cliff and allow borrowing to rise.

Aside from the fiscal cliff talks, investors got an update on the nascent housing market recovery -- but November didn't bring good news. Ahead of the opening bell, the Census Bureau said housing starts fell 3% in November to an annual rate of 861,000.

Early Wednesday, news broke that UBS (UBS) will have to pay $1.5 billion to settle claims in the U.S., U.K. and Switzerland related to rigging Libor benchmark interest rates. The settlement was widely trailed in media before Wednesday's announcement.

Also, the Treasury Department announced it will exit all of its investment in General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) within the next 12-15 months as part of its efforts to wind down its investments in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Shares of GM were up 9.7% early Wednesday.

Trading firm Knight Capital (KCG) said it will merge with rival and partial owner Getco, just three weeks after Getco made its offer. Knight Capital stock gained 7.2% in premarket trading.

Related: America's Debt Challenge

In other corporate news Wednesday , firms including FedEx (FDX, Fortune 500) and General Mills (GIS, Fortune 500) are scheduled to report quarterly results before the opening bell. FedEx is often view as a bellwether for the broader economy due to the nature and global scope of its business.

How Barnes & Noble ships millions of gifts

After the closing bell Tuesday, tech giant Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) reported quarterly results that beat analysts' forecasts for profits and revenues, which sent shares higher in after-hours trading. The stock was 2.7% higher in premarket trading.

Fear & Greed Index

European markets shrugged off the UBS settlement news and remained higher in afternoon trading.

Most Asian markets ended broadly firmer, though the Shanghai Composite ended close to flat. Japanese stocks continued to lead the way on expectations of new measures to stimulate the economy. The Bank of Japan is expected to announce an increase in its asset-purchase scheme on Thursday.

The dollar was steady against most major currencies, and continued to gain against the yen, which has been hit by the talk of further monetary stimulus. To top of page



Join the Conversation
Markets
Sponsored by
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,504.83 3.18 0.02%
Nasdaq 4,146.77 19.80 0.48%
S&P 500 1,878.86 3.47 0.19%
Treasuries 2.72 0.03 1.08%
Data as of 9:43am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Xerox Corp 11.96 0.37 3.19%
Dow Chemical Co 49.37 0.43 0.88%
KeyCorp 13.89 -0.02 -0.14%
Twenty-First Century... 32.72 -0.07 -0.21%
Regions Financial Co... 10.41 0.02 0.19%
Data as of Apr 23
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.28%4.41%
15 yr fixed3.30%3.33%
5/1 ARM3.30%3.34%
30 yr refi4.31%4.39%
15 yr refi3.35%3.31%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.