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Stocks gain on budget talk optimism, Fed stimulus

Wednesday - 12/12/2012, 3:50am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street for the fifth day in a row as traders hoped for more progress in budget talks being held in Washington.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 79 points to close at 13,248 Tuesday. It was up as much as 137 points earlier.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose nine points to 1,428. The Nasdaq composite was up 35 points at 3,022.

Delta Air Lines rose 5 percent after the company said it will buy almost half of Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic as it seeks a bigger share of the lucrative New York-to-London travel market.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.6 billion shares.


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