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The close: Stocks rally on signs of imminent U.S. budget deal Add to ...

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U.S. and Canadian stock markets ended 2012 in high spirits after finally receiving word that a deal is very near to avoid the toxic economic impact of going over the U.S. "fiscal cliff."

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 117 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 12,433, bringing its gains for the year to 2.8 per cent. The S&P 500 ended up 23 points, or 1.6 per cent, at 1,426. It posted a much higher return for the year of 13.2 per cent.

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