Stocks gain on debt-ceiling hopes

Specialists Peter Kennedy and Michael Gagliano, foreground left

Specialists Peter Kennedy and Michael Gagliano, foreground left and right, work at their posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange last week. (Oct. 10, 2013) (Credit: AP)

Travel deals

After a morning slump, stocks turned higher in afternoon trading Monday as investors waited for news of a possible deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling before Thursday's deadline.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 64.15 points at 15,301.26. The index had fallen as much as 100 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.41 percent to 1,710.14. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.62 percent to 3,815.27.

The United States will reach the limit of its borrowing authority on Thursday, according to estimates from the U.S. Treasury Department. If the debt ceiling is not raised, investors fear the country could default on its borrowings in the coming weeks.

Investors continue to express hope that a deal can be reached before the debt crisis causes any lasting damage. In the last few years, political deals over major budget disputes have gone down to the last minute.

"We don't need some well-crafted, detailed deal," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist with Prudential Financial. "We just need to buy some time so they can keep negotiating."

Investors have a busy week of corporate earnings to work through. Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Citigroup report results Tuesday.-- AP

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