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Stocks Kick Off Second Quarter With Gains
CNBC.com | April 02, 2012 | 05:09 PM EDT

Stocks kicked off the first trading day of the month and quarter with a modest gain, after better-than-expected manufacturing reports from U.S. and China helped calm renewed concerns over a recession in the euro zone.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 52.45 points, or 0.40 percent, to end at 13,264.49, led by BofA and Alcoa .

The S&P 500 rose 10.43 points, or 0.74 percent, to finish at 1,418.90, after briefly touching a multi-year high in intraday trading. The Nasdaq rallied 28.13 points, or 0.91 percent, to close at 3,119.70.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed above 15.

All 10 S&P sectors logged gains, led by materials and techs.

U.S. stocks closed out their strongest quarter in 14 years , with the S&P 500 posting a gain of 12 percent, thanks to gains in financials and techs.

Despite worries over a pullback following the stellar runup, Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategists at Schaeffer's Investment Research said equities have further room to run and held his year-end target for the S&P 500 at 1,525.

“Historically, April has been a great month in the last five years,” noted Detrick. “So from a seasonal point of view, we’re entering a bullish time frame…and the next driver is going to be earnings season.”

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