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Stock Market Today Rises on Debt Ceiling Negotiations

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

House Republicans and Democrats continue to negotiate over a six-week extension of the debt ceiling and a possible end to the government shutdown. The stock market doesn't seem to mind that the debt-ceiling can is just being kicked down the road to Nov. 22: As of 1:30 p.m. EDT the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) is up 0.5% to 1,701. The largest ETF tracking the S&P 500, SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEMKT: SPY  ) , is up 0.52%.

President Obama met with Senate Republicans starting at 11:35 a.m. EDT. The Senate is less divided than the House, and Senate Republicans are currently drafting their own plan that would reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling for three months.

In the House, both Republicans and Democrats want a temporary extension to the debt ceiling. The point of contention is that Democrats want the government reopened at the same time, while House Republicans would like some concessions before reopening the government and are willing to keep the government closed until a new budget deal is reached.

There was one U.S. economic release today.





University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index




The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index fell to its lowest level this year but was in line with analyst expectations. The drop is rather small, given the shenanigans going on in Washington -- perhaps because we went through this in 2011 and consumers are growing used to Congress' political brinksmanship. Consumers are positive on current conditions, bringing the index to a level of 92.8, but they're negative on the future with a sentiment level of 63.9.

The future
We will have to wait and see how the debt ceiling and budget negotiations play out. If the debt ceiling is temporarily hiked, hopefully Congress uses the opportunity to come to some agreement and doesn't just keep kicking the can down the road every six weeks.

What can you do?
In both the public and private sectors, governance functions best when stakeholders educate themselves, take an active interest in what's going on, and hold their representatives accountable.

You can educate yourself by reading The Motley Fool's new free report, "Everything You Need to Know About the National Debt." The report walks you through with step-by-step explanations about how the government spends your money, where it gets tax revenue from, the future of spending, and what a $16 trillion debt means for our future. Click here to read the full report!

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