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The Dow is back in the black for 2011 - thanks to a powerful rally - which swept blue chips to a near 500 point gain.
Investors were encouraged by coordinated efforts by six of the world's central banks to provide more cheap cash to avoid a Lehman-style freeze up of financial markets. The U.S. Federal Reserve, The European Central Bank, and central banks from Japan, Britain, Canada, and Switzerland all took part.
Max Wolff of Greencrest Capital:
SOUNDBITE: MAX WOLFF, CHIEF ECONOMIST, GREENCREST CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"Seeing the world come together, seeing the coordinated effort to save the euro zone, to save her money center banks; and to produce dollar liquidity, pump dollar liquidity into Western Europe is absolutely a good sign and certainly long absent. And you see the markets sigh a little bit of relief, the way markets do sigh a sign of relief, which is bidding up prices."
But analysts warn markets will quickly go south if Europe does not move ahead with solutions for its two-year debt crisis.
Nevertheless, Wall Street's biggest one-day gain since August was fueled by other factors too.
China is hoping to give its economy a shot in the arm by loosening capital requirements for its big banks.
In the United States, new data show the biggest pace of job creation in the private sector in nearly a year, a mid-west manufacturing sector that is growing faster than expected, and the Federal Reserve's summary of business conditions, known as the Beige Book, confirmed signs of a modest pick-up in economic activity around the country.
Looking at the final numbers: Blue chips surged 490 points, the S&P 500 rallied 51 points. And the Nasdaq gained 104 percent.
In Europe, Stocks in Germany rallied 5 percent, 4.2 percent in France, and 3.2 percent in the U.K.
Conway Gittens, Reuters