12-4-13 10:40 AM EST | Email Article

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch


NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks advanced on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 and Dow industrials on pace to snap a three-day losing streak, with some traders attributing the move to news of progress toward a U.S. budget deal.


Stocks have erased earlier losses that came after a stronger-than-expected private-sector jobs report, which appeared to reinforce worries that later this month the Federal Reserve could start to reduce its bond-buying program that has supported equities.


U.S. budget negotiators are near a deal in which Democrats would accept fresh revenue from user fees and Republicans would agree to more federal spending, steps that could avoid another government shutdown next year, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.


The S&P 500 (SPX) was last up 4 points, or 0.2%, to 1,799, trading near the milestone level of 1,800. The Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJI) gained 30 points, or 0.2%, to 15,944, holding below its own big round number of 16,000.


The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) added 12 points, or 0.3%, to 4,049, staying comfortably above 4,000 as the tech-heavy index worked to snap a two-day losing streak.


On Tuesday, stocks lost ground on uncertainty over when the Fed will begin to pare its bond-buying program and on jitters about whether the market rally is overextended.


* Today's market-moving news: The emerging budget deal gives negotiators a framework to reach an agreement on government spending either by a budget panel's Dec. 13 deadline or before federal spending expires Jan. 15. Meanwhile, private-sector hiring in November was the hottest in a year, as 215,000 jobs were added, according to a report from Automatic Data Processing released Wednesday. A new-home-sales report beat forecasts, while a services gauge missed expectations. In addition, the Fed's Beige Book will be released at 2 p.m. Eastern.


* Today's movers & shakers: Express Inc. dived 21% after the clothing retailer cut its full-year outlook. Apple Inc. slipped 0.3%, even after UBS upgraded the tech giant to buy from neutral. See: Movers & Shakers column.


* The buzz: After a historic bull-market run, a notable group of analysts is warning that all of this could be a bubble that is about to pop, writes John Nyaradi, a contributor to MarketWatch's Trading Deck. On Tuesday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams told Reuters in an interview that the Fed should only taper when it is "completely confident" the economy is progressing on the right track.


* Other markets: Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 1.7%, its biggest fall since late October as the yen rebounded against the dollar. European stocks traded lower.


Read more on the markets from MarketWatch


China's market breaks out, but caution is necessary


Tax moves and trading tips for year-end


Why your stocks are not keeping up with this market

-Victor Reklaitis; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-04-13 1040ET

Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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