Fiscal Progress Buoys Stock Futures


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U.S. stock-index futures extended Monday's gains as lawmakers in Washington grew closer to making a deal to keep the nation from hurtling over the fiscal cliff.

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Today's Markets

As of 7:51 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 40 points to 13224, S&P 500 futures gained 4.8 points to 1432 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 16.3 points to 2678.

The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all had their best day of the month on Monday amid hopes of a U.S. budget deal. The S&P, considered one of the best broad-market barometers, also closed at its highest level since October 22.

The upbeat sentiment persisted on Tuesday on news reports both sides are coming closer to a deal. Sources told Fox News the Obama administration offered Republicans a higher threshold for tax increases in a move House Speaker John Boehner's office called "a step in the right direction." At present, there is a framework for $1 trillion in revenue increases coupled with $1 trillion in spending cuts, according to Fox News. However, sticking points remain, including raising the debt ceiling, which would be important in staving off a debt debacle like the one that roiled markets last summer.

The economic calendar was set to be fairly light on the day, with the pace of releases heating up toward the middle and end of the week.

Energy futures were broadly higher. The benchmark crude contract climbed 50 cents, or 0.57%, to $87.70 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline jumped 0.81% to $2.676 a gallon. In metals, gold rose $1, or 0.06%, to $1,699 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.31% to 2636, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.41% to 5936 and the German DAX climbed 0.42% to 7637.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 0.96% to 9923 and the Chinese Hang Seng slipped 0.08% to 22495.