LONDON -- Today the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) rose 130 points, or 2.2%, following the announcement that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the fiscal-cliff bill.

The Republicans and Democrats came to a compromise at the last minute, agreeing on a deal that will impose tax rises on the country's wealthiest, sparing the working and middle classes. On Tuesday night, Congress voted in favor of the bill with a majority vote of 257-167.

If no agreement had been reached between the two political parties by Jan. 1 -- the fiscal cliff being midnight on Dec. 31, 2012 -- then every American taxpayer faced an automatic tax rise, totaling $536 billion. Additionally, spending cuts from domestic and military programs of $109 billion would likely have affected markets around the world and slowed the economic recovery.

As it is, the Footsie now finds itself beyond the 6,000-point mark, while markets around the world have also responded positively. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index is up 2.9%, and Australia's ASX 200 also made big gains.

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Sam Robson has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.