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Stock indexes rally, close up more than 1 percent

American flags fly in front of the New

American flags fly in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Feb. 10, 2011. Photo Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Stock indexes closed up more than 1 percent Wednesday with technology and financial shares leading a rebound from the biggest drop in two months. And there was optimism that progress is being made in Greece's debt talks.

At the close on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 25.1 points, about 1.2 percent, to 2,105.2, the biggest jump in a month as all 10 of the benchmark's main industries climbed. The index rose above its average prices for both the past 50 and 100 days. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 236.4 points, about 1.3 percent, to 18,000.4. The gain erased the Dow's loss for the year. The Nasdaq composite added 62.8 points, about 1.3 percent, to 5,076.7.

As the markets closed, the price of the benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.05, about 1.8 percent, to $61.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose $1.10 to $66.54 in London.

Optimism toward a potential Greek deal with its creditors rose as people familiar with Germany's position said Chancellor Angela Merkel's government may be satisfied with Greece committing to at least one economic reform sought by creditors to open the door to bailout funds. The European Central Bank was also said to have raised the level of emergency cash available to Greek banks.

"The Germans have officially blinked and off we go," said analyst Michael Block, chief equity strategist at Rhino Trading Partners LLC in Manhattan. "U.S. data has been better in general, but more people are coming around to the fact the Fed is seeing all this volatility in the bond market and is afraid to raise rates, there isn't too much tumult, oil has stabilized and so we move on."


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