Obama's optimistic comments help lift stock market
BY Staff and Wire Reports
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 2:21 AM
Stocks closed higher Wednesday, their first gain of the week, as comments by President Barack Obama made investors optimistic that a deal could be made to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82.71 points to end at 13,034.49.
"We can probably solve this in about a week; it's not that tough," Obama said in lunchtime remarks to the Business Roundtable in Washington, D.C.
Stocks have largely traded sideways for two weeks as investors wait for developments on crucial budget talks to avoid a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start Jan. 1 unless an agreement is reached.
Stocks are still up on the year, after the Federal Reserve extended its bond-buying program in September, offsetting concern that the European debt crisis was set to spread. The Dow has gained 7 percent, and Standard & Poor's 500 has advanced 12 percent.
"The market will hold on to its gains for the year," said Brian Gendreau, a market strategist with Cetera Financial Group in Los Angeles. "But that could change in a blink. If there's better-than-expected news from these negotiations, the market could pop."