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U.S. stock futures rise as Obama prepares to resume budget talks

By Bloomberg News

This article was published December 26, 2012 at 6:32 a.m.

U.S. stock-index futures advanced as President Barack Obama and Congress prepared to resume budget discussions as the year-end deadline to avoid a package of tax increases and spending cuts approaches.

Exxon Mobil Corp. might move as oil rose in New York trading. Netflix Inc. may be active after its online video service was disrupted for several hours Monday.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in March increased 0.2 percent to 1,422 at 7:15 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 20 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,085.

U.S. equity markets were closed for the Christmas holiday. The S&P 500 dropped 1.2 percent over the previous two trading days amid concern policy makers will fail to strike a compromise on more than $600 billion in automatic budget cuts and higher taxes, the so-called fiscal cliff. The gauge has still rallied 13 percent this year, on course for its largest annual gain since 2009.

“2013 will mainly be guided by political news, budget discussions, statements from central banks and economic surprises,” William De Vijlder, chief investment officer Strategy & Partners at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Brussels, wrote in a December strategy note released Wednesday.

House Speaker John Boehner and the president have been unable to agree on tax-rate increases for top earners or cuts to entitlement programs, complicating the chances of getting a package done.

Obama plans to leave for Washington on Wednesday from his Christmas vacation in Hawaii, while his family will stay behind, the White House said Tuesday. Congress is due to return Thursday, the same day Obama will arrive in Washington.

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