NEW YORK — Investors poured back into the stock market on the first trading day of 2013 in a rally seen as a sigh of relief that President Obama and Congress were able to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and an immediate economic downturn.
The Dow Jones industrial average surged 308.41 points, or 2.4%, to 13,412.55 on Wednesday — the best one-day rise in more than a year. Wall Street followed rallies in European and Asian equities markets after Washington's last-minute fiscal deal late Tuesday.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 36.23 points, or 2.5%, to 1,462.42. It was the S&P's best first-trading-day jump since 2009, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P Dow Jones Indices. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 92.75 points, or 3.1%, to 3,112.26.
Though Washington may have averted an immediate downturn, political leaders put off stalemates over broad spending cuts in military and social programs to reduce the country's long-term deficit.