Stock market moves sharply higher as Washington moves closer to a deal to avoid US default

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Stocks are surging on Wall Street as Washington closes in on a deal to avoid a default by the U.S. government.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 189 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 15,357 in midday trading after news that Senate leaders had reached an agreement to avert a default and reopen the government. The bill must still pass the House of Representatives as well as the Senate.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 21 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 1,719 points. The S&P 500 is now just six points below an all-time high it reached on Sept. 18.

The Nasdaq composite rose 40 points, or 1 per cent, to 3,833.

Yields on Treasury bills fell as investors became less nervous about a potential default by the government.