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Stocks Close Near Highs, Dow Shy of 13,000
12 Apr 2012 EDT -
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Stocks rallied for a second session Thursday, recouping from the recent selloff, boosted by stronger prospects for GDP growth in China and amid hopes for further monetary easing.

  • Track After-the-Bell Movers: GOOG, BBY & More
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 181.19 points, or 1.41 percent, to close at 12,986.58, just shy of the psychologically-significant 13,000 level.

    H-P and Caterpillar led the blue-chip gainers.

    The S&P 500 jumped 18.86 points, or 1.38 percent, to finish at 1,387.57. The Nasdaq rallied 39.09 points, or 1.30 percent, to end at 3,055.55.

    The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, tumbled to end near 17.

    All 10 S&P finished in positive territory, led by materials and energy.

    Investors carefully monitored to see whether the Federal Reserve will undertake another round of easing on the heels of recent anemic economic reports. Most notably, the government reported last week that only 120,000 jobs were created in March, well below expectations.

    “Today is all about more QE talk,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading. “We had poor jobs numbers today… [But] investors believe that Bernanke has their back whether we have good economic numbers or not.”

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