US stocks opened higher Tuesday amid signs Washington was making progress to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

In the first five minutes of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 13.96 points (0.11 percent) at 13,249.35.

The broad-market S&P 500 points gained 1.09 (0.08 percent) to 1,431.45, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite climbed 6.90 points (0.23 percent) at 3,017.51.

On Monday, US President Barack Obama and top Republican John Boehner made strides towards a deal to avert the year-end tax and spending crisis Äthe so-called fiscal cliff Ä that experts warn could spark a recession.

Obama offered Boehner his latest counter-proposal as a January 1 deadline loomed large, offering a major compromise on the income level affected by his demand to raise taxes on the rich.

“The market appears taken with the idea that new proposals are at least being advanced by both sides that differ from prior versions, suggesting last week's stalemate in the negotiation process has ended,” said's Patrick O'Hare.

On Monday, the Dow gained 0.76 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.19

percent and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.32 percent. - Sapa-AFP