'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The stock market finally shook its post-election slump. Investors seized on hope that Washington will reach a deal on the federal budget and drove stocks to their biggest gain in two months. A pair of strong corporate earnings reports also helped.
On the day before the U.S. presidential election, stock indexes managed slight gains in thin trading.
Investors spent Tuesday preparing for two events sure to move markets this week: a Federal Reserve meeting and a court decision on whether Germany can help support its struggling neighbors. And if the stock market's gains Tuesday are any sign, they expect both events to turn out well.
Stocks closed lower for the seventh day out of the last eight on Monday after the government reported that U.S. consumers cut their spending last month.
Calm returned to the stock market Monday after a spasm of fearful selling last week. Major indexes closed mixed after trading modestly lower for most of the day.
Stocks tumbled Thursday after two disappointing economic reports renewed investors' concerns about the pace of the recovery.
"Earnings are always important," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at the brokerage Charles Schwab. "But this week they've taken a back seat to all the other headlines, like slower growth in China, the sharp sell-off in gold and then the bombing in Boston."
"Two possibilities: Either the markets are convinced that they'll reach some sort of agreement, or the markets don't care," Frederick said.