Jack Lew, President Obama's likely pick for Treasury secretary, will face tricky economic topics in his new role. If confirmed, Lew will be an important player in the president's plans for deficit reduction.
Professional investors see plenty of minefields, but many believe a congressional deal will avert the worst of the 'fiscal cliff.' Another plus: Beyond the 'fiscal cliff' is a slowly improving economy.
Stocks rose Monday as signs of fiscal cliff progress in Washington made their way to Wall Street. Stock traders paused for a minute of silence at 9:15 a.m. EST to remember those killed in a gunman's rampage through a Connecticut elementary school.
Stocks closed mostly higher on Wall Street Wednesday as traders grew more hopeful that a budget deal will be reached in Washington. Rising stocks narrowly outnumbered falling ones on the New York Stock Exchange.