Investors pause to see where Washington goes next
Investors are waiting to see what happens next with debt-ceiling negotiations in Washington, just like everybody else.
Stocks inched higher in morning trading Friday. The pause followed Thursday’s big gains — including the biggest point rise of the year for the Dow Jones industrial average — as investors bet against a U.S. debt default.
Ninety minutes after trading began, the Dow was up 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,144. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up less than one point to 1,693. The Nasdaq rose six points to 3,767.
A partial government shutdown, which entered its 11th day Friday, pushed the Dow below 15,000 this week before President Barack Obama and House Republicans met on Thursday to talk about the outlines for a deal. Obama planned a late-morning White House meeting Friday with Republican senators, who said they would present options of their own for ending the shutdown.
JPMorgan Chase fell 10 cents to $52.42 after its adjusted earnings beat expectations, despite absorbing a $9.2 billion reserve for litigation expenses. Earlier in the morning it was as high as $53.35.
Wells Fargo fell 59 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $40.85 after reporting lower third-quarter revenue as mortgage activity slowed.
Oil prices fell $1.58 to $101.42 following a report that showed growing supplies of oil outside of OPEC.
Stocks in Europe rose, with Britain’s FTSE 100 up 0.8 percent, and the German DAX up 0.3 percent.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.65 percent, from 2.68 percent a day earlier.
Other stocks with notable moves:
• Gap sank $2.56, or 6.5 percent, to $36.89 after it reported a 3 percent drop in sales for September. Analysts had expected a gain of 1.6 percent. Gap was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500.
• Safeway rose $1.64, or 5 percent, to $33.21, the biggest gain in the S&P 500 index. The grocery store operator said late Thursday that it plans to sell its Chicago-area Dominick’s stores, allowing it to concentrate on its more profitable business.
• Micron Technology fell 90 cents, or 5 percent, to $17.53 after the flash memory maker’s quarterly profit left some investors wanting more.