Stocks were higher Wednesday. Dow rose 107 points to 12,985. The S&P was up 11 to 1,410. The Nasdaq surged 24 points to 2,992. Futures trading suggests gains this morning.
- Signs that U.S. political leaders may be closing in on a budget deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" boosted International stock markets today. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $87 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro but gained against the yen.
- Several economic reports are due this morning, with weekly jobless claims and third quarter growth due first. Also, the National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales for October. Also, Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.
- The slow improvement in the economy gave a huge boost to entrepreneurship in the U.S. last year. That's the finding of a study released today by Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., and Baruch College in New York. The study shows that more than 29 million people were starting or running new businesses last year. That was a 60 percent gain from 2010, when entrepreneurship was hurt by economic uncertainty.
- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and senior White House aide Rob Nabors meet today with House and Senate leaders for further discussion of ways to avoid the fiscal cliff. There have been no public signs of tangible progress. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has former opponent Mitt Romney over for lunch today and discussions about common ground.
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