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Futures head higher as budget talks proceed

Tuesday - 12/18/2012, 9:42am  ET

In this Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, photo, Traders Patrick McKeon, left, and Joel Lucchese work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks rose modestly Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, on Wall Street. Investors were encouraged by signs of progress in talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect in two weeks and a prediction of steady economic growth next year. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures are higher on emerging signs that the White House and Congress are moving closer to a budget deal.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 46 points to 13,230. The broader S&P futures have added 5.8 points to 1,432.80. Nasdaq futures are up 19 points to 2,681.

President Barack Obama appears to be backing away from once immovable negotiating points.

A new proposal drops Obama's long-held insistence that taxes rise on individuals earning more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000. He is now offering a new threshold of $400,000 and is lowering his 10-year tax revenue goals he had argued for a few weeks ago.

The Commerce Department will release its quarterly current account trade deficit report Tuesday, and economists expect those numbers to narrow.

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