Stocks Sharply Higher on Fiscal Cliff Deal Hopes

Stocks have extended their gains in late trading on the last day of 2012, with all three major indexes currently at session highs, amid hopes that lawmakers will reach a deficit reduction deal and avert the fiscal cliff. Investors’ sentiment was lifted after Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and President Obama suggested that a deal is in sight.

President Obama said that an agreement to prevent a middle class tax hike was in sight, however, more work needed to be done before the deadline to avert the fiscal cliff. Senate minority leader McConnell, meanwhile, said, “Lets pass the tax relief portion now, lets take what’s been agreed to and get moving.”

At last check, the Dow Jones was trading 0.92% higher at 13,056.84, the S&P 500 was trading 1.24% higher at 1,419.80, and the Nasdaq was trading 1.71% higher at 3,010.96.

All sectors in the S&P 500 are currently at session highs. The gains are being led by the Technology sector, which is currently trading 2.07% higher. Basic Materials sector has also risen sharply in trading today. At last check, the sector was trading 2.03% higher. Energy sector is currently trading 1.55% higher. Financials are up 1.29% in late trading.

Among the major gainers in late trading today are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which is currently trading 4.61% higher at $533.07, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), which is currently trading 3.06% higher at $26.70, Duff & Phelps Corp. (NYSE: DUF), which is currently trading 19.77% higher at $15.63, Alon USA Energy Inc. (NYSE: ALJ), which is currently trading 18.96% higher at $18.01, and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: LXRX), which is currently trading 16.75% higher at $2.23.

Among the major losers in late trading are Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: WPI), which is currently trading 3.53% lower at $85.90, and Magellan Health Services Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN), which is currently trading 4.77% lower at $49.28.



Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.