Passage of a fiscal cliff deal in both the House and Senate boosted investor enthusiasm on the first trading day of 2013. The markets surged to a sharply higher open with the Dow jumping 259 points to 13,363 while Nasdaq leaped 77 points to 3097. On the upside
Avis (Nasdaq: CAR) offered a premium of approximately $491.2 million to acquire car sharing company Zipcar (Nasdaq: ZIP). Record annual casino revenue in Macau in 2012 lifted shares of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS). Bloomberg reported that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) may shed underperforming business units. Bloomberg wrote that Molycorp's (NYSE: MCP) low valuation made the rare earth metals producer an attractive acquisition. On the downside Jefferies downgraded Skullcandy (Nasdaq: SKUL) from a Buy rating to Underperform and slashed its price target from $17 to $6.The sale of Dole Food's (NYSE: DOLE) worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses has been delayed to early 2013 as the company awaits regulatory approval in China. In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 10 to 1 on both the NYSE and on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 index soared 29 points to 1455.