NEW YORK CITY: An 11th-hour deal to end the government shutdown and raise the US debt ceiling sparked a strong rally on Wall Street Wednesday, with gains of nearly 1.4 per cent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 205.82 points (1.36 per cent) at 15,373.83. The broader S&P 500 rose 23.48 (1.38 per cent) to 1,721.54, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 45.42 (1.20 per cent) at 3,839.43.
Although it was not a completely done deal -- final votes were still required in both houses of Congress late Wednesday -- it was expected that the crisis that had unnerved global markets would be over by Thursday.
"This agreement is likely to prevent a government default on its debt and spending as well as re-open previously closed non-essential government services," said Gary Thayer at Wells Fargo Advisors.
"However, the compromise does not resolve all the budget problems; it only provides a temporary postponement. Nevertheless, reducing the risk of default could help lift sentiment and boost economic activity over the near term."
Big banks led the surge: Bank of America, which beat profit forecasts for its third quarter, gained 2.3 per cent, Citigroup 4.1 per cent and JPMorgan Chase 3.2 per cent.
In Nasdaq tech shares, Facebook led the way with a 3.3 per cent jump while Google added 1.8 per cent.
Fresh third-quarter earnings from a number of companies had a mixed impact.
Dow component Intel rose 1.3 per cent despite cutting its forecast for the rest of the year. For the third quarter the chipmaker beat forecasts slightly.
Railway operator CSX fell 0.8 per cent despite a 1.8 per cent gain in quarterly profits. The company pointed out a significant drop in the volume of coal it hauls.
Pepsico shares were up 2.1 per cent despite third-quarter earnings of US$1.91 billion that were barely higher than a year earlier.
Apple shares were 0.5 per cent higher despite reports that it had cut back orders for its new iPhone 5C due to slow demand in the market for the smartphone.
Toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker dropped 14.3 per cent after sharply cutting its earnings forecast for the year, even as the company reported a 44 per cent profit gain for the third quarter. -- AFP