NYSE Euronext was the S&P 500’s biggest gainer, surging 34 per cent to $32.25 after Intercontinental Exchange said it would buy the operator of the New York Stock Exchange for $8.2bn.
ICE shares shot up 1.4 per cent to $130.10.
Republicans in the US House of Representatives pushed ahead with their own plan to avoid a series of steep tax hikes and spending cuts due in early 2013, complicating negotiations with the White House. Obama has vowed to veto the plan.
Investors have hoped for an agreement soon between policymakers, but progress has been slow. Boehner said he expected to continue to work with Obama, but repeated his charge that the president and Senate Democrats were trying to “slow walk” the country over the fiscal cliff.
“Speaker Boehner went on the air and basically told us he doesn't like what the President’s doing or not doing, and the markets rallied on that, which was kind of weird,” said Stephen Guilfoyle, a trader at Meridian Equity Partners.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 59.75 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 13,311.72 at the close. The S&P 500 rose 7.88 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 1,443.69. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 6.02 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 3,050.39.