Encouraging signs that a fiscal cliff deal may be possible lifted the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow soaring 100 points to 13,235. Nasdaq surged 39 points to 3010. On the upside
Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV) continued rising after the homebuilder reported a narrower than expected loss for the fourth quarter last week. Natixix upgraded Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to a Buy rating and Evercore initiated coverage of the company with an Overweight rating. Bargain hunters lifted shares of Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK). On the downside Neptune Technologies & Bioressources (NYSE: NEPT) subsidiary Acasti Pharma reported positive interim results from two Phase II clinical trials of its hypertriglyceridemia treatment CaPre but the stock price tumbled.Power to three Silvercorp Metal (NYSE: SVM) mines in the Ying Mining District, Henan Province, China will be suspended for four to five days due to substation upgrades. Shares of outdoor gear retailer Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) fell over concerns of stricter gun control laws in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index climbed 16 points to 1430.