U.S. stocks edge higher as debt talks continue


NEW YORK — The stock market is edging higher as talks continue in Washington over ending a budget impasse that has partially shut down the government and threatened the United States with default.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,188 at midday today. The Dow surged 323 points on Thursday as investors hoped that signs of a compromise from House Republicans would defuse the standoff.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up six points, or 0.4 percent, at 1,698. The Nasdaq composite was up 18 points, 0.5 percent, at 3,778.

Safeway rose $2.03, or 6 percent, to $33.61 after saying it would sell its Chicago-area stores to focus on its more profitable businesses.

Gap fell $2.85, or 7 percent, to $36.63 after its sales fell in September.