NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were edging higher Wednesday as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to assure markets that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were moving toward a deal to end the partial government shutdown that has now entered its 16th day.
A failure to reach a deal by Thursday to raise the country's debt level could push the government into a default. House Speaker John Boehner has said he would try to fast track the Senate bill following Tuesday's collapse of a House proposal.
Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 10.25 points, or 10.09 points above fair value, to 1,702.25. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were gaining 95 points, or 94.99 points above fair value, to 15,190. Futures for the Nasdaq were adding on 15 points, or 18.99 points above fair value, to 3,255.75.
Generally it's expected that Congress will pass a short-term resolution where the government opens until January 15, 2014 and the debt ceiling is increased until February 7, 2014.
"The message is pretty clear," Nicholas Colas, the chief market strategist at New York-based brokerage company ConvergEx Group advised the more jittery investors in a morning note. "Sell consumer stocks and buy corporate bonds if you think Washington is nowhere near close to resolving its differences. Avoid tech stocks and industrials, but precious metals are OK."
PNC Financial Services (PNC) was rising 0.81% to $73.10 after the Pittsburgh-based lender beat third-quarter earnings estimates on the top and bottom line, as the company was able to book earnings growth in an environment where revenue fell about 7% from year-ago levels.