Stocks Climb on Signs Budget Impasse May Break
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks jumped Friday on signs Congressional leaders may reach a debt-ceiling deal to avoid a public default even as the government shutdown continued for a fourth day. Progress toward a deal between the two major parties came amid optimism the Federal Reserve will continue to support the economic recovery with its accommodative bond-buying measures.
House Speaker John Boehner reportedly told colleagues that he wouldn't allow the current impasse to trigger a U.S. debt default, giving investors some encouragement that government leaders are mindful of the damage that could cause. Among possible scenarios for breaking the stalemate was talk of repealing a medical device tax tied to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in exchange for not delaying its enactment.
"Underneath all of this noise from Washington is a decent economy, but it does get rattled like we're seeing this week, and I would rather have the battle be about this continuing spending than about the debt ceiling," said Nick Ventura, the president and CEO of Ventura Wealth Managment, which manages $225 million in assets.
The S&P 500 rose 0.62% to 1,689.07. The index lost 0.48% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.43% to 15,061.60. The blue-chip index slid 0.78% this week. The Nasdaq added 0.85% to 3,806.29. The tech-heavy index gained 0.54% across the past five days.Medical device stocks were gaining on hopes that the companies could be freed of the 2.3% sales tax. St. Jude Medical (STJ) gained 3.1% to $56.47, and Dentsply International (XRAY) increased 3.1% to $44.54. Because of the halt in many government services, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is operating with a skeleton crew and delayed the September jobs report, originally due Friday, for the first time because of a government shutdown since Jan. 5, 1996. Potbelly (PBPB) surged 124% to $31.34 a share on its first day of trading on the Nasdaq, after the sandwich shop chain raised $105 million by offering 7.5 million shares at $14, above the expected range of $12 to $13. Twitter filed plans to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The San Francisco-based microblogging site led by CEO Dick Costolo, could raise up to $1 billion, a number that for now, is just a placeholder used to calculate fees. The company's ticker symbol will be "TWTR," which pays homage to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's first tweet, "Just setting up my twttr". Dorsey is one of Twitter's largest shareholders, owning 23.4 million shares, or 4.9% of the company. Evan Williams, who co-founded the company along with Dorsey and Biz Stone, owns the most shares, with 12% or 56.9 million shares. CEO Costolo owns 7.6 million shares. Other large shareholders include private-equity firms Rizvi Traverse, Spark Capital, Benchmark Capital Partners, Union Square Ventures, and DST Global, who are all listed as being 5% stockholders, but exact amounts weren't given. Follow @atwtse -- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.>
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