Stocks Jump as Fears Ebb About Bank “Stress Tests”

Stocks are ending with big gains as fears ease about the health of banks.

Reports are trickling out Wednesday that indicate balance sheets at the nation's biggest banks might not be as frayed as some investors had feared.

The news came a day ahead of the formal release of the government's "stress tests." Investors relieved to have some answers scooped up shares of most banks, even those expected to have to raise capital.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 102 at 8,512. The S&P 500 index is up 16 at 920, extending its gains for 2009. The Nasdaq composite index is up 5 at 1,759.

About two stocks rose for every one that fell on New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to a heavy 1.9 billion shares.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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