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Stocks rally ahead of Bernanke speech

Stocks shot up in early trading on Wall Street as investors awaited a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. economic reports.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 109 points, or 0.8%, to 13,110 shortly after the opening bell. The Dow reversed its Thursday losses.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 11 points, or 0.8%, to 1,411. The Nasdaq was up 22 points, or 0.7%, to 3,070.

Bernanke was to speak at a central bank conference in Wyoming on Friday morning. Investors will be looking for hints that a third round of monetary stimulus called quantitative easing may be coming, as well as what other steps the Fed may take.

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European stocks were rallying, with French, Spanish and German indexes up more than 1%. Investors are also focused on developments from the Eurozone, whose leaders have yet to fix the monetary union’s debt crisis.

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Jobless claims unchanged last week at 374,000

Stocks fall about 1% on global growth, Eurozone worries

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Consumer spending, though still weak, jumps most in five months


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