Stocks Surge on ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal

U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, as Wall Street welcomed 2013, after U.S. lawmakers agreed a deal to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts that had threatened to hurt economic growth.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 262.99 points, or 2.01%, to 13,367.13. The S&P 500 index climbed 30.77 points, or 2.16%, to 1,456.96. The Nasdaq Composite rose 82.74 points, or 2.74%, to 3,102.25.

The United States averted economic calamity on Tuesday when lawmakers approved a deal to prevent huge tax hikes and spending cuts that would have pushed the world’s largest economy off a “fiscal cliff” and into recession.

Euro zone factories sank deeper into recession in December as new orders tumbled, business surveys showed on Wednesday, a sharp contrast to continuing signs of revival in China. Markit’s Euro zone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged down to 46.1 in December from November’s 46.2, below a flash reading of 46.3.

The price of oil jumped by over a dollar on Wednesday, to above $93 a barrel. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for February delivery was up $1.49 to $93.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Car rental company Avis Budget Group Inc (CAR.O) will buy Zipcar Inc (ZIP) for about $500 million in cash to join larger rivals Hertz Global Holdings Inc (HTZ) and Enterprise Holdings Inc (EPRIH.UL) in the fast-growing U.S. car- sharing market. The offer of $12.25 per share represents a premium of 49 percent to Zipcar’s Monday close. Zipcar’s shares were up 48 percent at $12.16 before the bell on Wednesday.

Casino revenue in Macau climbed 13.5 percent last year to a record $38 billion, as the Asian gambling hub reinforced its position as the world’s biggest gambling market. Gross revenue from Macau’s 35 casinos also hit a monthly record in December, rising 20 percent to 28.2 billion Macau patacas ($3.5 billion), according to data posted on the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau on Wednesday.

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