Encouraging signs out of Europe and a surprisingly strong report on the U.S. housing market drove the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 300 points Tuesday. It was the best day for stocks this month.
The Spanish government pulled off a successful debt auction and gauges of business and consumer confidence in Germany rose unexpectedly. Both helped ease worries about Europe's debt crisis. The dollar fell against the euro and U.S. government bond prices dropped as traders shifted money out of the safest assets.
The Dow gained 337.32 points, or 2.9 percent to close at 12,103.58.
The S&P 500 index gained 35.95 points, or 3 percent, to 1,241.30.
The Nasdaq composite index rose 80.59, or 3.2 percent, to 2,603.73.
For the week:
The Dow is up 237.19, or 2 percent.
The S&P 500 index is up 21.64, or 1.8 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 48.40, or 1.9 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 526.07 points, or 4.5 percent.
The S&P is down 16.34, or 1.3 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 49.14, or 1.9 percent.