Stocks were sharply higher today after weekend talks had investors hopeful the fiscal cliff could be avoided. The Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama was reaching out to business leaders like JP Morgan Chase's (NYSE:JPM) Jamie Dimon and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim Cook, reportedly touting his solution to the budget crisis.
At the closing bell, the Dow was up 1.65%, the S&P 500 was up almost 2% and the Nasdaq jumped 2.2%.
Also adding to the positive tone was a much better than expected Housing Market Index and a jump in Existing Home Sales.
Big movers on the Dow included Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), up 3.6%. Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) were both up over 3%.
Home improvement retailer Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) posted strong 3rd quarter earnings today, and that stock was up over 6%
Tomorrow, investors will look for more evidence of a housing recovery with Housing Starts data, due out in the morning.
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