US stocks extend their gains but head for weekly loss

Share prices moved higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street, as investors speculated that the shutdown will prove a temporary inconvenience.

In the last hour of trading in New York, the Dow was up 0.55% or 82 points at 15,078 and the S&P 500 rose 0.78% to 1691.8.

The NASDAQ 100 was up around 1%, boosted by a strong rise in Facebook. Shares in the social-media giant climbed close to 4% after news that Instagram is set to start serving ads to its US users in the next few months.

Twitter revealed its S-1 documents for its billion-dollar IPO. The company’s ticker will be TWTR. The documents show that the company’s revenue for the first half of 2013 was $253.6 million, with losses of $69.3 million. The company is expected to float in November. IG is currently quoting Twitter’s market cap for the close of the first day of unconditional trading with a mid-price of $1.8 billion.

Although the government shutdown will be damaging to the US economy, it is dwarfed in importance by the debt ceiling debate. Today’s rally shows that investors have some confidence that the debt ceiling will be sorted out in due course and that the brinkmanship will give way to common sense.

The focus next week will at least partially switch to the performance of individual companies as earnings for the third quarter start to flow. Alcoa kicks things off on Tuesday and reporting will shift into full swing with banking giants JP Morgan and Wells Fargo on Friday.

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