World Markets, Dow Continue to Hold Out Hope for a Debt Resolution

Global markets appear to be feeling hopeful about a solution to the current debt ceiling crisis and government shutdown early this morning, and both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 seem to share that optimism: The major U.S. indexes are up about 0.6% each in early-afternoon trading.

The movement toward a debt ceiling agreement led to nothing concrete yesterday, though markets have moved back into the green, and Republicans wait to see whether President Obama will accept their temporary celling-lifting proposal.

In the news
Johnson & Johnson
(NYSE: JNJ  ) is leading the upside this morning, riding high on some special news concerning a partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The drug company has agreed to help promote Johnson & Johnson's prostate cancer drug Zytiga in Japan, where treatment options for the disease are currently limited. This morning Johnson & Johnson also enjoyed an upgrade  from Goldman Sachs, which cited its strong drug business as a performance driver.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) and Wells Fargo kicked off the banking sector's earning season this morning, and JPMorgan has begun to drop as the news sinks in. While a slowdown in the mortgage business nicked earnings a bit, JPMorgan's first quarterly loss in years was primarily due to its exploding litigation costs. The $7.2 billion hit hurt, resulting in a loss of $0.17 per share.

The reduction in home loan activity hasn't hurt home improvement retailer Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) , which has risen 1.4% today. Part of the stock's rise could be due to rumors that the chain will begin selling the popular PlayStation 4, based on a photograph that purports to show a demonstration kiosk at a Home Depot store. True or not, it is certainly giving the big-box retailer a lift.

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