Stocks Ended Near Session Highs on Cliff Optimism

U.S. stocks finished higher on Monday, supported by optimism that Republicans and Democrats are now in the same ballpark on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 100.38 points, or 0.76%,  to 13,235.39, its biggest gain this month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 16.78 points, or 1.19%, to 1,430.36 and the Nasdaq composite index rose 39.27 points, or 1.32%, to 3,010.60.

The U.S. credit union regulator sued JPMorgan Securities and Bear Stearns & Co on Monday over $3.6 billion in mortgage securities the bank allegedly sold to credit unions that collapsed because of losses from the securities.

General Electric Co is close to finalising an agreement to buy Italian aerospace supplier Avio as early as this week for more than 3 billion euros (2.43 billion pounds), sources close to the deal said on Monday.

Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) said late Monday that it raised its regularly quarterly dividend, and that the company will resume its stock-repurchase program next year. Share buybacks are expected to total between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2013, with the aerospace giant to use a remaining $3.6 billion from a buyback program that was authorized in 2007.

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