Why the Dow's Roaring Past 13,000

It may have been a slow start to the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) day, but it sure hasn't stayed that way. After some political news surfaced, the Dow roared upward to triple-digit gains, and as of 2:20 p.m. EST it's up 124 points, or 0.95%. It's no real surprise that the fiscal cliff is once again moving the markets, and stocks have taken off on a rally: Only four of the Dow's 30 members are in the red, and multiple stocks are up more than 1%.

Up, up, and away
While the fight between spending cuts and tax increases continues to rage on Capitol Hill, a rare glimmer of bipartisanship emerged today. Forty Republican members of Congress signed off on a letter calling to consider "all options" for measures to solve the cliff -- including the possibility of tax increases, which the GOP has heretofore adamantly opposed. It's a small step in the right direction but an important concession necessary for a compromise to be reached.

The Dow certainly thought so as it charged above the 13,000 level, and banks in particular have taken off. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) currently leads all stocks, up 5.6%, while JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) has risen 1.6% on the day. Going over the fiscal cliff would likely greatly impact financial firms' business, considering that many companies across the market's sectors have already tightened budgets in fear ofthe fiscal cliff's impact.

Another sector that could be heavily affected by the cliff -- industrials -- has also soared on the news. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) , whose shares are down 10% year to date, has risen 2.6% today, while shares of Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) are up 1.9%.

Winners and losers around the Dow
It's not the political talk that's taking all stocks higher, however. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) has risen 2% after its PD-991 investigational therapy for breast cancer showed significant improvement for patients in a Phase 2 study. Pfizer has already made plans to advance to a Phase 3 study next year -- an important progression, given the recent expirations of its patents for Lipitor and other drugs, which will cost the company significant revenue moving forward.

There are few laggards on the day, but most of the tech sector is mixed, and the Nasdaq (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC  ) is in the red. Dow tech member Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) has lagged today as the company looks to replace its outgoing CEO and diversify out of the declining PC market.

With the exception of a few stocks such as Intel, however, the Dow's constituents are flying high today -- especially Bank of America, which has had a stellar 2012 so far and continues to keep up its torrid pace. To learn more about the most talked-about bank out there, check out our in-depth company report on Bank of America. The report details Bank of America's prospects, including three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here to get access.


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