Friday stocks edge up, defying looming government shutdown

Dow at 12,395.

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market edged higher in early trading Friday, a day after another big earthquake in Japan sent indexes lower.
Investors will be watching Washington, where Republicans and Democrats are in the final day of talks to reach a budget agreement that would prevent a government shutdown. A shutdown will close non-essential government services, including the publication of most economic reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,420 in morning trading. The S&P 500 rose 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,336. The Nasdaq composite added 3, or 0.2 percent, to 2,798.
Gains were spread across the market. Technology companies were the only member of the 10 company groups that make up the S&P index to fall.
Oil futures were nearly 1 percent to $111.14. Over the past two months, stocks have fallen following large jumps in oil prices as investors worried that higher transportation costs would cut into company margins and consumer spending.
Todd Salamone, director of research at Schaeffer’s Investment Research, said that stocks tend to rise along with oil prices over the long term. “The recent breakdown in the pattern has largely been due to fears of supply shocks,” he said. “But the oil rally could also be attributed to a stronger world economy.”

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