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Stocks Move Higher on Debt Deal Optimism

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks pared early losses on hopes that a debt deal is near. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.6%. The major averages turned positive after the White House said President Obama would meet with congressional leaders at 3pm est. However, that meeting was canceled in order to give lawmakers more time to solidify an agreement over raising the debt ceiling. The country is on course to hit that limit on Thursday. Meanwhile, the government shutdown is now in its 14th day.

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Netflix (NFLX) climbed 7.8% on a report that it's talking to U.S cable operators. The Wall Street Journal says the streaming service wants to ink deals with industry giants like Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC). Netflix has already signed an agreement with Virgin Media in the UK. But the Journal says negotiations on this side of the ocean are still in the early stages.

Whirlpool (WHR) was underwater today, falling 6.5% after Cleveland Research issued a note saying appliance demand softened in September. Cleveland is maintaining a neutral rating on Whirlpool and predicts the company will still hit its targets for the quarter. J.C. Penney (JCP) shares fell more than 13% in a day last month when Cleveland's research showed slow sales at the chain.

Expedia (EXPE) went nowhere good today. The stock fell 6.2% on a downgrade from Deutsche Bank. Analyst Ross Sandler moved Expedia to hold from buy. He cited concerns about the company's hotels.com unit as well as increased competition overall. Sandler also lowered his price target on Expedia to $51 from $66

Facebook (FB) pared early losses to close higher by 0.8% after two developments out of Israel. First, the social network is buying Tel Aviv-based Onavo, which makes mobile apps. Second, it plans to open offices in Israel. As for Onavo, it makes products which compress content for mobile users. Facebook isn't commenting on the purchase price, but according to one report the deal could be between $150-million and $200-million. Facebook has previously bought two Israeli companies but transferred workers to the United States.

A number of companies report tomorrow as earnings season begins in earnest. They include Citigroup (C), Coca-Cola (KO), CSX (CSX), Domino's (DPZ), Intel (INTC), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and our own parent company Yahoo (YHOO).

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