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Stocks soar 1% on European Central Bank bond plan

Stocks soared after the European Central Bank announced it would embark on unlimited purchases of bonds from the continent’s debt-saddled countries, a program aimed at saving the euro currency bloc.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 145 points, or 1.1%, to 13,193 shortly after the opening bell.

The Dow has been flirting with five-year highs recently -- levels not seen since the official start of the Great Recession in late 2007. The Dow topped 14,000 in October that year.

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The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 15 points, or 1.1%, to 1,418. The Nasdaq was up 27 points, or 0.9%, to 3,096.

Major European stock indexes were up more than 1%.

ECB President Mario Draghi said the bond-buying program “will enable us to address severe distortions in government bond markets which originate from, in particular, unfounded fears on the part of investors of the reversibility of the euro.

“Hence, under appropriate conditions, we will have a fully effective backstop to avoid destructive scenarios with potentially severe challenges for price stability in the euro area,” Draghi said at a press conference Thursday.

The central bank left key interest rates unchanged.

Wall Street also got a boost from a U.S. employment report. Payroll processing firm ADP said the economy added 201,000 jobs in August, higher than an expected increase of 125,000.

The U.S. Department of Labor is to release August employment figures on Friday.

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