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S&P 500 at 2-month high; ‘cliff ’ less scary

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Stocks climbed, pushing the S&P 500 to a two-month high, on optimism lawmakers are closing in on a budget deal that will prevent the US from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. House Speaker John Boehner said he’s hopeful about a compromise but added that President Obama has yet to offer a balanced deficit-cutting plan. The White House said it has met Boehner halfway. Some investors say stocks are pricing in too much optimism. Any budget deal will involve higher taxes and less government spending, they note — a drag on growth. Stocks added to their gains after Standard & Poor’s raised Greece’s credit rating to B-, lifting it out of default.

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