NEW YORK — Speculation that governments in the U.S. and Europe will act to help their economies sent stocks surging to the best day this year.
In an ordinary stock market, neither development would likely cause a ripple. But the market has been anything but ordinary lately, posting decline after decline amid the financial crisis in Europe and the slowing economy in the U.S.
Traders now are hanging on rumors and speculation, said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial. But the talk was enough to convince some that the worst was over for now.
As a result, the Dow Jones industrial average surged 286.84 points to close at 12,414.79, its biggest gain since December 20. The rally started early and gathered force in the afternoon.