U.S. Stocks Pare Gains as Reid Remarks Spur Concern Over Budget

U.S. stocks pared gains as remarks from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spurred concern that lawmakers will not reach a budget agreement this month.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.7 percent at 1,428.19 at 2:54 p.m. after earlier climbing as much as 1.1 percent amid speculation Republicans and Democrats were making progress in forging a deal to avert the fical cliff of budget cuts and tax increases.

Equities trimmed gains as Reid told reporters that Republicans were holding middle-class tax cuts “hostage” and have offered no specifics on what they want in budget negotiations. Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said it will be hard to reach an agreement by Christmas, CNBC reported.

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