Stocks gain on optimism that a budget deal is near

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2012 11:53 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are moving higher as traders become more optimistic that lawmakers are closing in on a budget deal that will stop the U.S. from going over the "fiscal cliff" at the beginning of next year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 80 points to 13,315 shortly before noon Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 11 points to 1,441. The Nasdaq composite rose 32 points to 3,043.

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters he remains hopeful that a budget compromise can be reached but, says President Barack Obama has yet to offer a balanced deficit-cutting plan.

Among stocks making big moves, Arbitron, a provider of radio ratings, surged after TV ratings company Nielsen said it would buy it for $1.3 billion.