Stocks hovered near the unchanged mark as investors awaited any news from budget talks in Washington. Both sides are reportedly divided, with Republicans most recently proposing a change in the way the government measures inflation - as a way to avoid the fiscal cliff. Heading into the last hour of trading, all three major indexes were up fractionally.
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) shares rose more than 1% on news that today would be the delivery company's busiest shipping day of the year. Also, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) shares jumped on better-than-expected same store sales in November.
Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) also posted gains. Tomorrow the Fed's Open Market Committee meeting begins, with an announcement expected on Wednesday afternoon.
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