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Markets surge up; Dow gains more than 400 points

August 11, 2011 |  1:11 pm

Traders The stock market took a breather from its weeklong downhill tumble Thursday to make one of its largest advances ever.

After wild gyrations in its final minutes, the Dow Jones industrial average finished up 423 points, or 3.9%, to 11,143. The largest gain in history happened on Oct. 13, 2008, when the Dow gained 936 points.  

The S&P 500 closed up 51 points, a 4.6% increase. The Nasdaq is up 4.7%, or 111 points, to 2,493. 

Earlier in the day, the Labor Department said 395,000 people applied for jobless benefits, the lowest level since April. Hopeful investors translated the report as a sign that the economy might not be heading toward a double-dip recession.

Thursday's close was a stunning reversal of the Dow's 519-point plummet on Wednesday. Wall Street has had a suspenseful week as the market's reactions to the nation's credit downgrade and a European debt crisis veered between fear and faith.

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Photo: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Credit: Andrew Gombert / EPA

Stocks bounce back on unemployment data

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