Stocks finished Friday's session with modest gains, bouncing back from early losses following what was deemed a constructive meeting in Washington on the fiscal cliff.
Shares showed weakness early in the session, continuing a downtrend that has marked the last couple weeks. On Thursday, the Dow and the Nasdaq recorded their lowest closing levels since June. Worries that the President and the Congressional leadership would not be able to work out a long-term fix to the looming fiscal cliff has weighed on stocks since the election.
On Friday, President Barack Obama met with top-ranking members of Congress to work on a deal. News that the meeting had been constructive drove a mid-day advance on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.93 points, or 0.37 percent, to close at 12,588.31. The Nasdaq climbed 16.19 points, or 0.57 percent, to end at 2,853.13. The S&P 500 advanced 6.55 points, or 0.48 percent, to finish at 1,359.88.
In corporate news, Dell was in focus. The PC maker said its quarterly profit fell 47 percent, amid lower sales and deteriorating margins. The company's results missed expectations. Dell also issued a cautious forecast for the fourth quarter.
Dell's stock fell sharply on the news. Shares finished at $8.86, down 70 cents on the day, or 7.3 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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