Updated from 7:13 a.m. EST

Stocks in New York opened Wednesday to the upside as a bailout plan for the U.S. auto sector continues to take shape in Washington.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was climbing 115 points at 8807, and the

S&P 500

was up 9.8 points at 898. The

Nasdaq

was gaining 14 points at 1561.

Stocks sold off Tuesday amid a slew of corporate earnings warnigns and negative headlines in the package-delivery sector and despite a less-severe-than-expected decline in monthly pending home sales.

Washington is reportedly on the cusp of an agreement for a $15 billion bailout for the

Big Three automakers

--

Ford

(F) - Get Report

,

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

and

Chrysler

. Under the plan, the government would draw the emergency aid from an existing loan program meant to help the automakers build fuel-efficient vehicles.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 796.8, a decrease of 7.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from 857.7 one week earlier. The refinance share of mortgage activity is now 73.7% of total applications, up from 69.1% the previous week.

In company news, insurance behemoth

America International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

owes Wall Street firms as much as $10 billion for speculative trades that went south, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal.

The trades, which the company argues are "credit protection instruments", were not previously detailed, and thus the losses aren't covered in the government's $150 billion bailout package. It remains to be seen how AIG plans to pay them off.

Shifting to commodities, crude oil was rising $1.99 to $44.06 a barrel. Gold was gaining $24.70 to $798.90 an ounce.

An expected OPEC production cut next week could help stabilize oil prices that have fallen with global economic hardships.

Meanwhile, the rates for short-term three month Treasury notes fell below zero -- albeit temporarily -- Wednesday morning. Treasury bill rates turn negative when investors are so risk-averse that they're essentially willing to pay the U.S. government to safeguard their money.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year was gaining 26/32 to yield 2.73%, and the 30-year was adding 1-17/32, yielding 3.11%. The dollar was stronger against the euro, pound, and also the yen.

Overseas, European markets were mixed -- the FTSE in London was down 0.1%, while the DAX in Frankfurt traded up 0.3%, respectively. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both ended higher.

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