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.
Fool contributor Amanda Alix has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.