Stocks Dow Jones 5-year-highU.S. stocks closed out 2012 with their strongest day in more than a month. Not only that, the S&P 500 ended the year up 13.4 percent since January 1 of last year, its best performance since 2009. The Dow Jones average added 7.3% for the year and the Nasdaq jumped 16%.

Many traders were optimistic that the government would reach a deal on “fiscal cliff” matters this week.

Negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans resulted in a win for the bipartisan compromise bill last night, with 89 senators voting Yes on the legislation that would continue the Bush-era tax cuts for all annual income earned up to $450,000 for couples ($400,000 for individuals). 8 senators voted no. House Republicans are considering the bill and will likely schedule a vote today.

(Source: a Dec. 31 report from Reuters)

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