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December 19, 2012

Stocks climb amid optimism about deal

NEW YORK — Stocks climbed on Wall Street Tuesday, pushing the Standard and Poor’s 500 to its highest level in two months, on optimism that lawmakers are closing in on a budget deal that will stop the U.S. from going over the “fiscal cliff.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 115.57 points to 13,350.96. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 16.43 points to 1,446.79, its highest close since Oct. 18. The Nasdaq composite rose 43.93 points to 3,054.53.

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters he remains hopeful that a fiscal cliff compromise can be reached but said President Barack Obama has yet to offer a balanced deficit-cutting plan. Boehner said Obama’s latest offer for $1.3 trillion in tax increases over the next decade with $850 billion in spending cuts is not enough. The White House says that President Obama has moved halfway to meet Boehner on a budget deal.

“People are cheering the prospect for some compromise in Washington right now,” said Joe Costigan, director of equity research at Bryn Mawr Trust Co. “There is some pretty good news and the market is reacting favorably to it, but the deal isn’t done yet.”

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