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Monday Evening Business Brief

December 31, 2012, 5:35 PM

Monday Evening Business Brief

The stock market shot higher on Monday even as the "fiscal cliff" neared. By the time trading ended, Republicans and Democrats still hadn't reached a budget compromise - but investors were betting that they would. The Dow was up 166.03 points, finishing the year at 13,104.14. The S&P 500 rose 23.76 to 1,426.19. The Nasdaq composite climbed 59.20 to 3,019.51.

  • Oil prices rose as U.S. political leaders moved toward averting the "fiscal cliff." Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.02 to finish at $91.82 per barrel in New York.
  • The dollar rose against most major currencies on hopes that lawmakers in Washington would reach a last-minute budget deal. The euro fell to $1.3201 in late trading Monday from $1.3221 late Friday. For the year, the euro rose about 1.7 percent against the dollar.
  • Gold prices edged higher Monday after President Obama said that a budget deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" was in sight, if not yet complete. The advance capped a 12th consecutive year of gains. February gold rose $19.90, or 1.2 percent, to $1,675.80 an ounce.
  • Hundreds of thousands of workers are set to get a pay raise to start 2013, as 10 states increase their minimum wage. Washington state will again lead the way Tuesday, raising its starting salary to $9.19 an hour. Washington was first to adopt automatic adjustments in 1998 to compensate for inflation. Many states still follow the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

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