US stocks : Dow up 0.4 pct
Stocks recovered from early declines after leaders of the Senate and House emerged from a meeting at the White House and indicated they would be flexible in efforts to settle fiscal policy differences.
Democrats said they recognized the need to curb spending and Republicans said they had agreed to put revenue on the table following a meeting with President Barack Obama.
For the week, the S&P was down 1.5 percent, its second week in a row of losses. The Dow lost 1.8 percent, down for the fourth straight week, while the Nasdaq was lower for the sixth week, also losing 1.8 percent.
These are very small steps in the right direction, said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St Louis.
The more evidence there is that Congress will make a decision sooner, the more likely we are to see stocks rebound.
About $600 billion of automatic budget cuts and tax increases will start to take effect in the new year unless Washington reaches a deal. With memories of 2011's debt ceiling impasse fresh in investors' minds, many are worried this year's discussions could be drawn out or yield no agreement.
If all the changes go into effect, economists say it could tip the economy into recession. Investors have pulled out of stocks over the past two weeks, taking nearly 4 percent
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