Stocks rally amid optimism on fiscal cliff

US stocks rallied Tuesday amid optimism that Washington was serious about reaching a deal on the "fiscal cliff."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 115.57 points (0.87 percent) to finish the session at 13,350.96 in closing trade.

The broad-market S&P 500 climbed 16.43 points (1.15 percent) at 1,446.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite rose 43.93 points (1.46 percent) to 3,054.53.

"Stocks took solace in what appeared to be a step up in the pace of fiscal cliff negotiations," said analysts with Charles Schwab & Co.

President Barack Obama and top Republican John Boehner have stepped up negotiations in recent days in an apparent effort to avert the so-called fiscal cliff -- a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in January.

Apple rose 2.9 percent. South Korean competitor Samsung said Tuesday it would drop a legal request to ban Apple products in five European countries.

But on Monday, a US judge denied Apple's request to ban a set of Samsung smartphones from the US market after a jury found the South Korean electronics titan guilty of patent infringement.

Google stock was flat at $721.07 in the wake of word that the European Union will seek an accord with the Internet search giant to resolve anti-trust concerns.

Media audience ratings service Nielsen increased 4.4 percent after announcing it will buy Arbitron for $1.26 billion in cash to expand its radio ratings. Arbitron soared 23.6 percent.

ConocoPhillips, which said it was selling its Algerian business unit, gained 1.8 percent.

Gunmaker Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation stock dropped roughly 10 percent amid a US gun control debate sparked by a shooting in Connecticut Friday that saw 27 murdered -- including 20 children -- and shocked the nation.

Another gun maker, Sturm Ruger, lost 7.7 percent.

Bond prices fell. The 10-year US Treasury yield rose to 1.83 percent from 1.76 percent late Monday, while the 30-year climbed to 3.0 from 2.93 percent.

Bond prices and yields move inversely.

--

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