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Stocks gain on fiscal cliff optimism after Obama’s comments

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Stocks mostly rose, with the Dow above 13,000, as bank shares gained and comments by President Obama — ‘We can probably solve this in about a week, it’s not that tough,’ he said — made investors optimistic about a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Citigroup jumped 6.3% on news it will cut 11,000 jobs. Stocks have mostly traded sideways for two weeks as investors await developments on the federal budget talks — and worry that a failure to head off the big tax hikes and spending cuts set for next year will push the nation back into recession. Apple held the Nasdaq back; it declined after AT&T Mobility’s CEO suggested smartphone activations are lagging.

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