NEW YORK: U.S. stocks rose, erasing earlier losses, as House Speaker John Boehner said he had constructive talks with President Barack Obama on the budget and would accept government revenue increases coupled with spending cuts.
Home Depot Inc. and Alcoa Inc. added at least 1.4 percent to pace gains in the biggest companies.
Facebook Inc. climbed 6.3 percent as it expanded the roster of retailers that let users buy and send items to their friends on its website.
Dell Inc. sank 7.3 percent as its revenue forecast missed estimates.
Sears Holdings Corp. plunged 19 percent as the retailer posted a wider loss and its 23rd straight quarterly sales decline.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.5 percent to 1,359.88.
he Dow Jones industrial average gained 45.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,588.31, trimming its weekly drop to 1.8 percent. It capped a fourth week of losses, the longest losing streak since August 2011.
Volume for exchange-listed stocks in the United States was 7.4 billion shares today, 22 percent above the three-month daily average.
“Any tidbit of hope on the fiscal cliff front would lead to a positive response,” said Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, who helps manage $17 billion of assets at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Ala.
“Because of the oversold condition of the market, any good news is going to cause a pop. Conversely, anything that’s viewed as negative in the negotiations is going to cause a downward move.”
Concern about the so-called fiscal cliff drove the S&P 500 down 1.5 percent since Nov. 9.
The index capped a second week of losses and trimmed its 2012 rally to 8.1 percent.
“The markets are very shaky,” former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Bloomberg Television.
“The markets will crater if we run into any evidence that we can’t solve this problem,” he said. “If we get out of this with a moderate recession, I would say the price is very cheap. The presumption that we’re going to solve this problem without pain, I think, is grossly inappropriate.”
Oil rose on concern that the clash between Israel and Hamas will escalate into a wider conflict that would endanger Middle East crude shipments.
Palestinian missiles landed in areas around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and air-raid warnings sounded in both cities as Israel extended its bombing of the Gaza Strip and planned to increase its military call-up.
Investors also watched economic data, including a report that industrial production in the United States unexpectedly declined in October as Superstorm Sandy knocked out power in the Northeast.
Twenty two out of 30 companies in the Dow gained. Home Depot advanced 1.4 percent to $62.12. Alcoa increased 1.6 percent to $8.18.
Facebook added 6.3 percent to $23.56, as it noted the addition of partners to its site including Brookstone Inc., Dean & Deluca Inc. and Fab.com Inc.
“Tens of millions” of users in the United States can now access products via a gifting service, which was introduced in September with retailers such as Starbucks Corp. and 1-800- Flowers.com Inc.
Cablevision Systems Corp. jumped 2.9 percent to $14.02. It hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. to seek buyers for its Bresnan Broadband Holdings LLC unit acquired in 2010, said two people familiar with the situation.
Gap Inc. gained 1 percent to $33.59. The largest U.S. specialty-apparel retailer raised its full-year earnings forecast as sales in North America advanced.
OfficeMax Inc. jumped 12 percent to $9.22. A company in which it owns a stake announced an initial public offering that could bring the office-supply retailer more than $300 million.
Nike Inc. gained 1.9 percent to $92.59. The largest athletic-shoe maker agreed to sell its Cole Haan fashion brand to private-equity firm Apax Partners for $570 million as it focuses on faster-growing businesses. The company announced a 2-for-1 stock split and boosted its dividend by 17 percent.
Dell retreated 7.3 percent to $8.86. The No. 3 PC maker is struggling amid a deep slump in demand as companies wait to upgrade machines and consumers turn to smart phones and tablets like Apple Inc.’s iPad and iPhone to manage their work and personal lives.
Sears sank 19 percent to $47.49. The third-quarter net loss widened to $498 million, or $4.70 a share, from a loss of $421 million, or $3.95, a year earlier, Sears said Thursday in a news release. Sales dropped 5.8 percent to $8.86 billion, continuing a streak of declines that began in 2007.
Dynavax Technologies Corp. tumbled 47 percent to $2.44 after its hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav failed to win the backing of U.S. regulatory advisers as the drugmaker seeks to bring its first product to market.