This was the second best day for stocks this year. Markets were very happy to finally get some progress out of Washington.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 15,126.0 , +323.0, +2.1 %
- S&P 500: 1,692.5, +36.1, +2.1%
- NASDAQ: 3,760.7, +82.9, +2.2%
And now the top stories:
- It's day 10 of the Government shutdown. And the October 17 debt ceiling continues to go unresolved. But there is progress. House Republicans are now pushing for a debt ceiling increase that would buy the government an additional six weeks to sort things out. "I would hope the president would view this as an opportunity and a good-faith effort on our part to move halfway," House Speaker John Boehner said in a press conference.
- Earlier today, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified to the Senate Finance Committee to explain the magnitude of the debt ceiling risk. "No credible economist or business leader thinks that defaulting is good for job creation or economic growth," said Lew. "They understand that Congress choosing not to pay the government’s bills is unacceptable and could do irrevocable harm to our economy."
- Indeed, the current government shutdown is already having visible effects on the labor market. According to the Department of Labor, initial weekly jobless claims surged to 374,000 from 308,000 a week ago. Half of the increase was due to technical issues in California. The Labor Department, however, estimated that the dismissal of non-federal employees accounted for around 15,000 claims. "We suspect that claims also were boosted in the latest week by the start of a new quarter (which can be an advantageous time to file a new unemployment claim)," said UBS's economics team in a note to clients. "Despite all of the temporary or distorted boosts to the latest claims reading, the four-week average, at 325k, was little changed from 322k a month earlier. This is probably the cleanest indication of the underlying trend."
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