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Fiscal-cliff deal sends stocks shooting higher

NEW YORK – Stocks are moving sharply higher on Wall Street after lawmakers reached a last-minute fiscal-cliff agreement to avert sweeping tax increases and cuts to government spending programs.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 227 points, at 13,331, shortly before midday Tuesday, the first trading day of 2013. That’s a gain of 1.7 percent. The Dow had been up as much as 273 in the early going.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 24 points, to 1,450, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 68 points, at 3,087.

Banks and technology stocks led the gains. Markets in Europe also rose broadly.

Some market-watchers cautioned the euphoria could be short-lived. The late-night deal leaves many questions unresolved, including how to make long-term cuts to the U.S. budget deficit.

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