Stocks turned higher after Congressional leaders reported progress in talks with President Barack Obama about cutting the U.S. government's budget deficit.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down as much as 71 points in late morning trading but turned higher after House Speaker John Boehner and other Congressional leaders said they had constructive talks with Obama's team.
The Dow was up 34 points shortly before noon at 12,576.
Other indexes also turned higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 2 points to 1,355 and the Nasdaq rose a point to 2,837.
Investors have worried that Obama and Congress won't reach a deal in time on the budget to avoid deep cuts in government spending and tax increases that are set to kick in at the beginning of next year.