Stocks Opened Sharply Higher on Budget Hopes

U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on Monday as optimism over the progress of crucial U.S. budget talks combined with hopes that Greece will finally get its next batch of bailout cash to shore up markets.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately climbed 131.16 points, or 1.04%, to 12,719.47. The S&P 500 index added 19.11 points, or 1.41%, to 1,378.99. The Nasdaq Composite rose 42.47 points, or 1.49%, to 2,895.60.

President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) expressed optimism Sunday that a deal can be reached to avert the “fiscal cliff” automatic spending reductions and tax hikes slated to take effect Jan. 1. 

Citigroup Inc (NYSEArca: BUW – news) has agreed to pay $360 million to the brokerage estate of Lehman Brothers to resolve a dispute over $1 billion in collateral that the investment bank was forced to post in the days leading up to its bankruptcy in 2008.

Lowe’s Cos.’ said Monday that its third-quarter net income surged 76 percent, helped by lower costs and higher revenue, as the company’s efforts to revamp its merchandise and prices appeared to be gaining traction. Lowe’s earned $396 million, or 35 cents per share, for the three months ended Nov. 2. That compares with $225 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 2 percent to $12.07 billion from $11.85 billion.

Cisco Systems said Sunday that it had agreed to buy Meraki for about $1.2 billion, as the networking titan continues to bolster its cloud computing services.

Intel Corp.(INTC) on Monday said Chief Executive Paul Otellini intends to retire in May, ending a nearly 40-year career with the chip maker.






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