FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

Stocks jumped on Monday as traders responded to thawing in U.S. debt talks that appeared stalled as recently as late last week.

Today's Markets

As of 3:15 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 71.4 points, or 0.54%, to 13206, the S&P 500 rose 12 points, or 0.85%, to 1426 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 26.3 points, or 0.89%, to 2998. 

Trading desks remained somewhat fixated on talks to avert the fiscal cliff that is looming just weeks away. Without a deal, the world's biggest economy is set to be pounded by painful spending cuts and tax increases.

As of late last week, a deal seemed far out of reach, with Democrats and Republicans continuing to lob criticism at one another. However, a source close to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner told FOX Business there was a framework under discussion that included $1 trillion in spending cuts and $1 trillion in new revenue. A source also said President Barack Obama and Speaker Boehner were meeting at the White House for further discussions. 

Apple (AAPL) was another focus on Monday after Citigroup cut its rating on the tech titan to neutral from buy. It also cut its price target by $100 to $575. Morgan Stanley offered a differing view, with its analysts saying Sunday "despite concerns to the contrary, iPhone and iPad demand remain strong." The investment bank has Apple rated as overweight with a price target of $714. 

Since the company's market capitalization is nearly half a trillion dollars, big movements tend to impact the broader markets, especially the technology-heavy Nasdaq. 

Also on the corporate front, Sprint (S) said it will acquire a 100% stake in Clearwire (CLRW) for $2.2 billion. The deal values the company at roughly $10 billion, including debt. 

The economic calendar was fairly light on the day. The New York Federal Reserve said manufacturing in the Empire State region contracted at a faster pace in December than it did the month prior. The gauge came in at -8.1, down from -5.22, and considerably weaker than the -1 economists expected. 

Energy futures were mixed. The benchmark crude contract rose 47 cents, or 0.54%, to $87.20 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline was down 0.28% to $2.655 a gallon. In metals, gold drifted higher by $1.20, or 0.07%, to $1,698 a troy ounce. 

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.1% to 2628, the English FTSE 100 slumped 0.16% to 5912 and the German DAX rose 0.11% to 7605. 

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 0.94% to 9829 and the Chinese Hang Seng tilted lower by 0.41% to 22514. 

 

Rich Edson contributed reporting from Washington, D.C. 

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.