Stocks Jump as Congress Gets Some Sense

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks surged Wednesday as a bipartisan deal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to raise the nation's borrowing limit and reopen government operations received cheers from the White House and Democratic and Republican House leadership.

The S&P 500 rose 1.4% to close at 1,721.54, all but ignoring Fitch Ratings decision to place the U.S. 'AAA' credit on rating watch negative. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.4% to 15,373.83 while the Nasdaq advanced 1.2% to 3,839.43.

"There's obviously this palpable sense of relief," said Russ Koesterich, chief investment strategist at BlackRock in a phone interview. "Arguably, [Congress] did a little damage: fourth quarter is going to be a bit slower, you may have undermined consumer confidence more than the market is appreciating."

Congress is expected to pass a short-term resolution to assure that government remains open through January 15, and that the debt-ceiling is sufficiently increased to satisfy creditors through February 7, 2014. Reid said Congress needs to address the cost that the government shutdown and uncertainties about a default may have had on the U.S. economy.

"We have sent a message to Americans from every state and citizens of every country that the United States lives up to its obligations," Reid said. "Now Congress must return to its most important job - fostering economic growth and protecting middle-class families."

House Speaker John Boehner in a statement said his caucus would not block the bipartisan agreement reached in the Senate, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama applauded the deal.

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