Stocks reversed early losses to finish near session highs Wednesday following positive comments from President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner on the “fiscal cliff” issue.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 106.98 points, or 0.83 percent, to end at 12,985.11, led by Hewlett-Packard [HPQ 12.73 0.37 (+2.99%) ] and Chevron [CVX 105.58 2.20 (+2.13%) ], reversing its earlier triple-digit loss.
The S&P 500 advanced 10.99 points, or 0.79 percent, to finish at 1,409.93. The Nasdaq rallied 23.99 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 2,991.78.
"My hope is to get this agreement done before Christmas," said Obama at a White House event addressing middle-class Americans, helping to add further fuel to the rally.
In addition, Boehner said while he is still opposed to raising U.S. income tax rates, Republicans are willing to put revenue on the table if accompanied by spending cuts.
And former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles said the White House will not insist that tax rates on upper-income Americans increase all the way back to the Clinton-era level, following meetings he had with Obama, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and other negotiators.
Stocks flip-flopped in the past two sessions as investors reacted to every headline from lawmakers in Washington. Wall Street lost ground in the last hour of trade on Tuesday after Senate majority leader
Obama hosted another summit with business leaders at the White House to discuss the country’s fiscal problems.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended below 16.