Stocks soar on European pledge to help banks

NEW YORK - (AP) - The U.S. stock market surged Monday on thelatest positive news out of Europe for the fourth sharp increase inthe last five days. Indexes soared in the U.S. and Europe after French and Germanleaders promised to strengthen European banks. The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 330 points, its largestone-day jump since Aug. 11. The euro rose against the dollar. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President NicolasSarkozy said they would finalize a "comprehensive response" tothe debt crisis by the end of the month, including a plan to makesure European banks have adequate capital. Investors have beenworried that European leaders weren't moving quickly enough tocontain the fallout from a default by Greece's government. "The more we can put our arms around the problem with a littlemore detail, the better, and time frames usually help," saidMichael Sansoterra, a portfolio manager at Silvant CapitalManagement in Atlanta. The Dow rose 330.06 points, or 3 percent, to close at 11,433.18.That's the highest the index has been in three weeks. Bank ofAmerica Corp. rose 6.4 percent, the most of the 30 companies thatmake up the index. JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 5.2 percent. The Dowis up 7.3 percent since Oct. 4. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 39.43 or 3.4 percent, to1,194.89. On Oct. 4 the S&P 500 traded below 1,090, or 20 percentdown from its recent peak in April. Had the index closed at orbelow that level, it would have met the common definition of a bearmarket. The Nasdaq composite index rose 86.70, or 3.4 percent, to2,566.05.

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