Stocks and commodities are climbing again today as investors anticipate a fiscal-cliff resolution.
S&P 500 futures are up about one-third of 1 percent, while the Nasdaq 100 climbed by almost half a percentage point. The moves match gains in Germany and France, while Japan's Nikkei climbed almost a full percentage point for a second consecutive day.
President Obama lowered his demand for tax revenue and raised the income level at which he wants raise taxes. That came shortly after House Speaker John Boehner signaled willingness to accept higher taxes. Both moves have been interpreted as major progress toward a deal that would avert major spending cuts at the end of the year.
Yesterday's rally of 1.2 percent saw the S&P 500 finding support at both its 50- and 100-day moving averages, as well as the key 1420 level that's been support and resistance several times this year.
Optimism toward the political situation in Washington has been especially positive for the banks, which led yesterday's advance. The industry got another shot in the arm after the close when analyst Meredith Whitney upgraded Citigroup, Bank of America, and Discover Financial Services. BAC and C and trade for barely half their book value.
Commodities are also painting a modestly bullish picture this morning, with oil and silver each climbing by about half a percent. Copper is down slightly, while most agricultural foodstuffs are lower, and gasoline is up almost 1 percent. Currency markets are mixed.
The only scheduled economic release today is the National Association of Home Builders sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET. A strong reading could help drive further gains in an industry group that has led the market higher in the last year. Software giant Oracle also reports quarterly results after the bell.
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