Stocks gain on optimism of budget talks progress

AP News
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 11:52 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in midday trading on Wall Street, putting the Dow Jones industrial average on track for its biggest gain this month.

Investors were encouraged by signs of progress in budget talks being held in Washington. They also hope the Federal Reserve will extend a stimulus program.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 119 points to 13,290 shortly before midday Tuesday. The Dow posted modest increases over the previous four days.

The Standard & poor's 500 index was up 14 points at 1,432. The Nasdaq composite was up 42 points at 3,028.

Delta Air Lines rose 6 percent to $10.74 after the company said it will buy almost half of Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic. The deal will give Delta a bigger share of the lucrative New York-to-London travel market.