Avoiding the "cliff" will likely have boosted consumer confidence, said Chris Kichurchak, vice president at Strategic Wealth Partners. That improving sentiment, combined with a strengthening housing market, should prove favorable to so-called cyclical companies that move in line with the economy.
"There are a lot of people who were holding out on spending," before a budget deal was struck, said Kichurchak.
Investors started the year by jumping into stocks, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch research. Just over $22 billion was invested in equities in the first full week of this year, the second-highest weekly in-flow on record after the $22.8 billion that was invested in September 2007.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite to the security's price, fell 4 basis points to 1.86 percent.
Other stocks making big moves;
— American Express rose 45 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $61.24 after the company said that spending by cardholders jumped 8 percent in the fourth quarter, even after Superstorm Sandy crimped some buying.
— Best Buy jumped $2, or 16.4 percent, to $14.21 after the struggling consumer electronics chain reported holiday sales. The company's U.S. performance was flat and, while this was a hair below the 0.3 percent increase that Best Buy reported in the prior-year period, it was an improvement over the past several quarters.
— Ford rose 17 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $14. The company said demand for new vehicles is accelerating in the U.S. Ford plans to hire 2,200 engineers, computer programmers and other white-collar workers this year. The automaker said Thursday it was raising its dividend.
— Corning fell 19 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $12.45 after Goldman Sachs removed cut its rating on the specialty glass manufacturer to "neutral" from "buy," saying that it expected first quarter sales to decline more than previously expected.