Congressional leaders showed no signs of giving ground to resolve the next step in the financial crisis, with Democrats still talking about higher taxes on the wealthy and the Senate's top Republican suggesting that a crippling default on U.S. loans was possible unless there were significant cuts in government spending.
President Barack Obama is hailing a last-minute deal that pulled the country back from the "fiscal cliff," but warned that he "will not compromise" over his insistence that Congress lift the federal debt ceiling.
Traders showed they still had some optimism for the economy as stocks moved higher Wednesday in the first trading session since the U.S. Congress agreed on measures to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."
A last-minute deal will keep the U.S. from driving off the so-called "fiscal cliff," but higher taxes and continued political fighting in Washington threaten to shake the fragile economy well into 2013.
A potential doubling of milk prices will be averted as part of the compromise that White House and congressional bargainers reached on wide-ranging legislation to avert the "fiscal cliff," a leading senator said late Monday.
Markets appeared Monday to be taking in stride the prospect that U.S. politicians will fail to agree a budget deal in time to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts that many economists think could tilt the world's largest economy back into recession.