Spanish austerity helps stocks break skid

On the floor of the New York Stock

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, trader Sean Spain, center, checks the prices last week. Just after the opening bell on Thursday, Sept. 27, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points at 13,463. (Sept. 20, 2012) (Credit: AP)

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Stocks notched their first gain of the week Thursday after Spain announced severe budget cuts intended to convince the world that it can meet deficit-reduction targets.

It was the best day for the U.S. market since Sept. 13, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced further steps by the central bank to speed the economic recovery.

Stocks were also helped by speculation that the central bank of China will act soon to help the world's No. 2 economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 72.46 points to close at 13,485.97. It was the Dow's first gain in five trading sessions. The Standard & Poor's 500 index, after five days of declines, closed up 0.96 percent to 1,447.15. The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.39 percent to 3,136.60.

The Nasdaq and S&P were helped by a jump in Apple stock, reversing three days of declines. Apple gained $16.14, or 2.43 percent, to $681.32 despite an analyst's report reducing estimates for shipments of iPhones later this year.

As fear grew that Spain will need an international bailout, the finance minister said a draft budget for 2013 cuts overall spending by about $51 billion. He said cuts for ministries would average almost 9 percent.

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