Politics — Italian and US — tug on stocks

Stocks edged higher after a strong sales report from ­McDonald’s offset concerns about the surprise resignation of Italy’s prime minister, who has been credited with restoring confidence in the nation’s economy. Over the weekend, Mario Monti said that he would soon step down after his predecessor, Silvio­ Berlusconi, pulled his party’s support from Monti and said he would again seek election as prime minister. Investors were also awaiting developments in US budget talks. The president and House speaker met Sunday, while rank-and-file ­Republicans offered what they called pragmatic ideas to break the fiscal-cliff stalemate.