BY JONATHAN CHENGHopes that lawmakers in Washington will reach an agreement on taxes and spending gave investors new confidence and drove stock indexes to their best day in two months.
Investors have spent a tense few weeks since the election watching for smoke signals out of the nation's capital for indications that Democrats and Republicans are nearing a compromise. On Monday, they found reason for optimism.
President Barack Obama said he was "confident" an accord could be reached with lawmakers, and congressional leaders have said they are making progress.
New data Monday also showed existing home sales climbed last month and builder confidence rose to the highest level in 6½ years.
For investors, the stakes are high. If no deal comes to pass by…