Wall St rises as tax talks make trading volatile

US stocks finished higher yesterday as investors bought on sporadic dips in a market roiled by conflicting comments from Washington about negotiations on an agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Tech shares, including Research In Motion and Advanced Micro Devices, helped the Nasdaq outperform the broader market. Telecommunications and health-care stocks were the day’s best-performing sectors.

Reflecting the uncertainty surrounding US budget talks, trading was choppy. Wall Street reversed early gains and fell shortly after House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, dashed hopes that lawmakers were getting closer to a budget deal that would avert automatic tax increases and spending cuts set for early 2013 – the fiscal cliff – that could push the US economy into a recession next year. But the market rebounded by afternoon and the three major US stock indexes rebounded.

US-listed shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion rose four per cent to $11.54 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral” on optimism ahead of the launch of the BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Advanced Micro Devices shares gained 4.1 per cent to $2.04 on plans to sell and lease back its campus in Texas. The sale and lease-back will raise cash and fund its chipmaking business as Advanced Micro Devices diversifies beyond the struggling PC industry.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36.71 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 13,021.82 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 6.02 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 1,415.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 20.25 points, or 0.68 per cent, to close at 3,012.03.