U.S. Stocks Rise on "Fiscal Cliff" Optimism

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U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday (November 19), with the S&P 500 rising 1 percent, as signs of progress in talks to resolve the fiscal crunch encouraged investors at the start of a holiday-shortened week. The optimism was fuelled by comments from U.S. lawmakers who indicated that compromises are possible in negotiations to avert $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts due to start in January - the "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy back into recession. The Dow Jones i