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Overnight Markets: Optimism over budget talks boosts Wall Street

by Himanshu Singh on Nov 30, 2012 at 04:13

Overnight Markets: Optimism over budget talks boosts Wall Street

Wall Street gained on Thursday as investors remained hopeful that U.S. policymakers will reach a resolution in federal budget negotiations.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 37 points, or 0.28%, to 13,022 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained six points, or 0.43%, to 1,416. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 20 points, or 0.68%, to close at 3,012.

Stocks gained earlier as a report showed Americans signed more contracts in October to purchase previously owned homes. Separately, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed that gross domestic product grew at a 2.7% annual rate, up from a 2% prior estimate.

But Wall Street reversed early gains in choppy trading after House Speaker John Boehner dashed hopes that lawmakers were getting closer to a budget deal. The market rebounded by afternoon.

Telecommunications and healthcare stocks were the day's best-performing sectors, while tech shares helped the Nasdaq outperform the broader market.

U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion added 4% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral" on optimism ahead of the launch of the BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc shares gained 4.1% on plans to sell and lease back its campus in Austin, Texas.

Kroger Co. jumped 4.8% after boosting its profit projection for the year. Walt Disney Co. added 1.1% after raising its dividend.

On the negative side, retailers retreated in the wake of data showing a weak start to November sales after Superstorm Sandy. Kohl's Corp fell 12%.

Tiffany shed 6.2% after the upscale jeweller reported quarterly results and cut its full-year sales and profit forecasts.

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