NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks edged higher in choppy trading Monday as investors turned their attention toward mixed headlines out of Europe.
Greece’s two main political parties reached a deal over the weekend to share power in a new government, increasing the likelihood that the country will move ahead with austerity measures it promised to implement as part of a financial rescue agreement with its lenders. That relieved investors by reducing the chances of an imminent default by Greece, which would rattle financial markets and cause losses for major European banks.
Europe’s debt crisis is far from over, however. Italy’s borrowing rates spiked Monday to the highest level since the country adopted the euro. Unlike Greece, Portugal or Ireland, Italy has too much debt to be rescued by an international bailout. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi rejected suggestions that he resign to make way for more cost-cutting.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 62 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,045 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. The S&P 500 gained 6 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,259. The Nasdaq rose 7, or 0.3 percent, to 2,693.
Monday is a relatively quiet day for economic and corporate news in the U.S. The Federal Reserve will report in the afternoon on how much consumers borrowed in September. Economists expect consumers took out an additional $5.4 billion in loans, a sign that households could be more confident in the direction of the economy.
In corporate news, Amgen Inc. rose 5.4 percent to $58.15, the most in the S&P 500 index, after the biotech drugmaker said it would buy back up to $5 billion of its stock. Dish Network Corp. Dish Network Corp. jumped 6 percent to $24.86 after the satellite TV provider announced a $2 per share dividend and a 30 percent increase in net income