Stocks open higher as traders hope for debt deal

Stocks open higher as corporate earnings rise and talks continue on ending debt impasse

Associated Press
Stocks surge after Senate reaches deal on US debt
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Trader Robert Charmak, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. World stock markets fluctuated between gains and losses Wednesday Oct. 16, 2013 as a deadline for divided U.S. lawmakers to agree on a higher government borrowing limit drew ever closer. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are rising in early trading as several big companies report higher earnings and traders hope for a last-minute deal to avoid a U.S. government default.

Rates on short-term U.S. government debt rose, however, as investors braced for the possibility that the government's borrowing limit wouldn't be raised in time for the U.S. to continue paying all its bills on time.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 79 points, or 0.5 percent, at 15,247 points after the first few minutes of trading Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 10 points, or 0.6 percent, at 1,708. The Nasdaq composite rose 23 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,817.

Mattel, PepsiCo and Bank of America all rose after reporting earnings that were better than Wall Street analysts expected.

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