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Stocks Rise Sharply, Getting 2011 Off to Good Start
03 Jan 2011 EST - CNBC.com
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Stocks ended up nearly a percent or more as investors flocked to stocks, pushing the market to new two-year highs for the first trading day of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 93.24 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 11,670.75, the highest close for the blue-chip index since Aug. 28, 2008. Stocks had ended the year slightly below two-year highs with double-digit gains in each major index.

Bank of America, JPMorgan and Alcoa, led the Dow higher, while Intel and Coca-Cola lagged.

The S&P 500 rose 14.23 points, or 1.13 percent, to close at 1,271.87, the highest close for the broad market index since Sept. 3, 2008. Among key S&P 500 sectors, financials, telecom and consumer discretionary gained.

The Nasdaq gained 38.65 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 2,691.52, the highest close since Dec. 26, 2007.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell below 18.

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