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Stocks Surge as 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Looms

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President Barack Obama emerged after the closing bell on Friday to say that he had engaged in a "constructive discussion" with House and Senate leadership about preventing tax hikes on the middle class.

"But if an agreement isn't reached in time between Sen. Reid and Sen. Mitch McConnell, then I will urge Sen. Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up-or-down vote," Obama said on Friday.

The president said the basic package would include a plan to protect middle-class tax cuts, extend unemployment insurance and groundwork for deficit reduction.

The Dallas Federal Reserve manufacturing survey showed that Texas factory activity edged up in December to 2.7 from last month's 1.7, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

The FTSE 100 in London finished down 0.47%, while the DAX in Germany was closed on Monday. Asian markets finished mixed on Monday as investors there appeared uncertain as to whether the U.S. would reach a so-called fiscal cliff deal. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.04% to 22,657. Japanese markets were closed.

Gold for February delivery spiked $19.90 to settle at $1,675.80 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while February crude oil contracts increased $1.02 to close at $91.82 a barrel.

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The benchmark 10-year Treasury plummeted 17/32 to boost the yield to 1.761%. The bond market closed early for the holiday. The dollar bumped up 0.11%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, Duff & Phelps (DUF) announced that it had agreed to a group of private-equity investors to purchase the company for $665.5 million in cash.

Shares of the company surged 19.7%.

Carlyle Group , Stone Point Capital LLC , Pictet & Cie and Edmond de Rothschild Group were all part of the purchasing deal.

Tribune Co. said it would emerge from its bankruptcy on Monday. The media company, whichowns The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune , sought bankruptcy in 2008.

Apple (AAPL) withdrew patents claims against Samsung's Galaxy S III Mini phone after the South Korean company announced it wouldn't offer to sell the gadget in the U.S., according to a Reuters report.

Shares of Apple rose 4.4%, while the stock jumped 31.4% in 2012.

Facebook (FB) closed out the year of its initial public offering on a high note. Shares of the social networking Web site finished up 2.7%, or 71 cents, at $26.62 -- far short of the company's IPO of $38 a share -- on Monday after a BMO Financial Group analyst upgraded the company's stock and more than doubled its price target. After

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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