Stock indexes start new year with big rally
NEW YORK – U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, with the Dow industrials notching their largest first-session-of-the-year-point rise ever, as Wall Street welcomed an 11th-hour deal to avoid steep spending cuts and tax increases and pondered deficit moves still ahead.
“The next focus will certainly be what happens in the next two months in terms of addressing spending and the effect of whatever we do on GDP growth rates,” Art Hogan, a market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets LLC, said of the impact of reduced government spending on the economy.
The measure approved by the House of Representatives just after 11 p.m. Tuesday undid tax hikes for all but one to 2 percent of U.S. households, with the bipartisan vote ending a lengthy standoff over how to avoid more than $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts viewed as likely to push the economy back into recession.
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