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U.S. Stocks Pare Gains as Obama Says Issues Remain on Budget

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks pared gains after President Barack Obama said there were still issues to resolve on reaching a budget deal.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6 percent to 1,410.91 at 1:55 p.m. in New York, after jumping as much as 1.1 percent as Obama began to speak at the White House.

The president said he was “hopeful” Congress will reach a smaller deal that prevents tax hikes, and that the deficit can be tackled in stages.

Stocks rallied earlier on signs of progress in budget negotiations after a weekend of private talks and public sniping as lawmakers sought to avert more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that make up the so-called fiscal cliff.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff Sutherland at jsutherlan13@bloomberg.net

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