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US stocks open higher

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November 19, 2012 09:34 AM EST | AP


NEW YORK — The stock market is starting the holiday week with a big gain.

Just after the opening bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 102 points at 12,690. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 12 at 1,372. And the Nasdaq composite index is up 32 to 2,885.

European markets are sharply higher. Financial analysts say it's because of optimism that leaders in the United States will reach a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, a package of tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1.

U.S. investors are also encouraged by corporate earnings reports. Lowe's says its third-quarter profit surged 76 percent. That's after a strong report from Home Depot last week. Tyson Foods also beat Wall Street expectations.