The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 207 points Monday — its strongest daily gains since the election — on optimism that lawmakers would strike a deal to avoid the impending fiscal cliff. Stocks soared across exchanges, with the S&P gaining 27 and the Nasdaq 62 points. Fears of a brewing showdown in Washington over the threat of the fiscal cliff, which could bring a slew of tax increases and spending cuts, had roiled U.S. stocks just after Election Day. "It is quite clear that both sides want to come to a compromise and that a reasonable compromise is available," a top strategist for J.P. Morgan told clients, reflecting investor optimism Monday. Monday's strong performances were helped along by positive earnings reports by Lowe's and Tyson Foods, too.