NEW YORK — Stocks climbed on Wall Street Tuesday, pushing the Standard and Poor’s 500 to its highest level in two months, on optimism lawmakers are closing in on a budget deal that will stop the U.S. from going over the “fiscal cliff” at the beginning of next year.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 115.57 points to 13,350.96, its biggest one-day gain in almost a month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 16.43 points to 1,446.79, its highest close since Oct. 18. The Nasdaq composite rose 43.93 points to 3,054.53.
House Speaker John Boehner told reporters he remains hopeful a fiscal cliff compromise can be reached, but says President Barack Obama has yet to offer a balanced deficit-cutting plan. Boehner said Obama’s latest offer for $1.3 trillion in tax increases over the next decade with $850 billion in spending cuts is not enough. The White House says Obama has moved halfway to meet Boehner on a budget deal.
“People are cheering the prospect for some compromise in Washington right now,” said Joe Costigan, director of equity research at Bryn Mawr Trust Co. “At the moment there is some pretty good news and the market is reacting favorably to it, but the deal isn’t done yet.”
Stocks added to their gains after the Standard & Poor’s rating agency said at midday it had raised Greece’s credit grade by six notches to B-, lifting the country out of default. The threat of a Greek default had roiled markets in the first half of this year. Investors worried the heavily indebted nation would leave the euro, opening the way for a breakup of the currency block. The ratings firm said the upgrade reflected its view that the other 16 countries using the euro are determined to keep Greece inside the currency union.
The Dow Jones is up 2.5 percent in December and is on track to close higher for a fourth straight year. The index has advanced 9 percent in 2012. The S&P 500 is also up for the year, gaining 15 percent.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed 5 basis points to 1.82 percent. The yield on the note has risen 20 basis points since the start of December.