Stocks inch higher on hopes for a budget deal

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Associated Press

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 29 at 5:01 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing with modest gains as talks proceed in Washington over narrowing the U.S. government's budget deficit. A pair of strong economic reports also brightened the mood.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended with a gain of 37 points at 13,022.

The Dow took a brief turn lower at midday after House Speaker John Boehner made pessimistic comments about the talks. It recovered in the afternoon.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose six points to 1,416 and the Nasdaq gained 20 points to 3,012.

In economics news, the government raised its estimate of third-quarter economic growth and homes sales rose.

Nearly three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was lighter than the recent average at 3.3 billion shares.

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