“U.S. stocks rose, erasing an earlier loss for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after comments by Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Barack Obama fueled optimism an agreement can be reached in budget talks,” Inyoung Hwang reports for Bloomberg. “The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.4 percent to 1,404.10 at 2:10 p.m. in New York, after erasing a decline of as much as 1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 69.24 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,947.37 today. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 5.6 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

“Equities reversed declines as Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said he is optimistic lawmakers engaged in budget talks can ‘avert this crisis sooner rather than later,'” Hwang reports. “He made his remarks to reporters, while saying he continues to oppose the expiration of tax cuts for top earners and Democrats need to get “serious” on budget cuts. Obama said separately at the White House, ‘My hope is to get this done before Christmas.'”

Hwang reports, “The S&P 500 has declined 1.7 percent since Obama was re- elected on Nov. 6 as he seeks a budget agreement with the Republican-controlled House. The deal is aimed at avoiding $607 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that come into effect next year. Sales of new U.S. homes dropped 0.3 percent to a 368,000 annual pace following a revised 369,000 rate in September that was weaker than initially reported, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington… ‘The market is at the mercy of the fiscal cliff until we get some sort of resolution,’ Liz Ann Sonders, the New York- based chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab Corp., which has $1.9 trillion in client assets, said by phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]