<>'CLIFF' NOTES: Optimism that a budget deal will be reached in Washington sent stocks slightly higher Thursday. The stock market took a brief turn lower when House Speaker John Boehner said little progress was being made in negotiations.
DIVIDEND RUSH: Guess joined the ranks of companies pledging special dividends to shareholders before favorable tax rates on dividends expire at the end of the year.
THE ECONOMY: The government raised its estimate for U.S. economic growth to an annual rate of 2.7 percent in the July-through-September period. That's more than twice the 1.3 percent rate logged in the three previous months.