Fiscal Cliff Talks Lift Stocks

Stocks rose at the open on Tuesday, as optimism grew that a deal would be made to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The Dow Jones industrial average lately gained 15.95 points, or 0.12 percent, to 13,251.34. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 3.18 points, or 0.22 percent, to 1,433.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 13.30 points, or 0.44 percent, to 3,023.90.

President Barack Obama backed away from his long-standing call for raising tax rates on households making more than $250,000 a year, a development that inches the White House and congressional Republicans closer to a budget deal. Mr. Obama’s move, a counter to Republicans’ recent proposal to raise tax rates on income over $1 million, further narrows the differences between the two sides.

Knight Capital Group’s (KCG) board was split between two competing offers for the firm after a meeting on Monday where suitors Getco Holding Company LLC and Virtu Financial LLC presented their sweetened bids to Knight’s directors, sources involved in the talks said.

The private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management said on Tuesday that it would sell its investment in the gunmaker Freedom Group in response to the school shootings last week in Connecticut.

A U.S. judge on Monday denied Apple Inc.’s request to seek a ban on the sale of some Samsung Electronics Co products in the U.S. market.

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