U.S. stocks rose last night , erasing losses since Election Day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after Germaninvestor confidence climbed and traders waited in hope for progress on federal budget negotiations in Washington.

American International Group Inc. added 5.7 percent as the government sold its remaining stake.

Apple Inc. rose 2.2 percent as Morgan Stanley reiterated its overweight rating

Delta Air Lines Inc. gained 5.1 percent after agreeing to buy a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. from Singapore Airlines Ltd. (Singapore Airlines took c.$350-400m hit on the trade).

Now we await the “knee in the groin” bet outcome between Branson of Virgin and Walsh of British Airways, on whether Virgin Atlantic brand will still exist in 5 years time

The S&P 500 was up for its fifth straight day with about 6.4 billion shares changing hands on U.S.exchanges, 3.2% above the three-month average and 20% above yesterday’s volumes.

The Fed concludes a two-day meeting today as policy makers consider whether to continue with quantitative easing. Fed officials are considering whether to supplement $40 billion a month of mortgage-bond buying with purchases of Treasuries when their Operation Twist program expires at the end of the month. If expanded as expected, the new program will push the central bank’s balance sheet to almost $4 trillion.

Asian stocks rose, with the Regional benchmark index heading for its longest winning streak of gains in 3 years as speculation grows that the Fed will step up monetary easing

In Europe, stocks were little changed as investors also awaited the Fed decisions on interest rates and economic stimulus.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained for the last seven days, the longest winning streak since July 2011, as U.S. President  Obama made  conciliatory noises regarding talks to prevent more than $600 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts from coming into effect next year.

David Brockman | Sales and Trading