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Stocks soar on apparent ‘fiscal cliff’ fix

NEW YORK -- Stocks soared more than 1.3% on signs of last-minute progress in negotiations between President Obama and Congress to avoid the looming “fiscal cliff.”

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 166 points, or 1.3%, closing out 2012 at 13,104. The blue chip index finished the year up 7.3%.

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The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 24 points, or 1.7%, closing at 1,426. The benchmark index ended the year up 13.3%.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index shot up 59 points, or 2%, to 3,020. For the year, the Nasdaq was up 16%.

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Major U.S. stock indexes showed little movement for much of the last trading day of 2012.

But investors jumped back into the market in the early afternoon as Obama announced a deal to avert the year-end automatic tax increases and spending cuts was close.

As broad contours of the deal took shape Monday afternoon, the president said an agreement on taxes was “in sight” but not yet complete.

Just before the markets closed, CNBC reported the U.S. House won’t vote on any Senate bill Monday, meaning that the U.S. would technically not avoid the fiscal cliff.

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