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Market Recap: Markets up on Strong Profits

Markets closed up today:

▲ Dow: +1.50 percent

▲ Nasdaq: +1.82 percent

▲ S&P: +1.55 percent

Precious metals:

▼ Gold: down -0.12 percent to $1,649.73 an ounce

▲ Silver: down +0.79 percent to settle at $31.68 an ounce

Commodities:

▲ Oil: +1.15 percent

Markets closed up because:

Stocks ended on a good note Tuesday after promising signals about the profitability of U.S. companies and a strong debt auction by Spain. The Dow Jones industrial average rose for the fourth day in five and posted its biggest gain in a month.

European stocks had their best day in four months after Spain, the latest flashpoint in the European debt crisis, attracted strong investor interest at an auction of two-year debt.

Spain's borrowing costs fell, as measured by the yields on Spanish bonds being traded in the market. In recent days, those yields had risen closer to levels that might force Spain to seek an international bailout.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 194.13 points, or 1.5 percent, at 13,115.54. It was up as much as 210 points Tuesday afternoon. The Dow has had only one 200-point rise this year, a gain of 218 points on March 13.

First-quarter results have begun to pour in from companies, and traders have been impressed so far. On Tuesday, Coca-Cola said its first-quarter profit was better than Wall Street analysts had forecast. Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson also posted strong results.

After nine straight quarters of growth, earnings for companies in the S&P 500 index were expected to be roughly flat for the first quarter. The slowdown was expected because of global threats from Europe and China and the difficulty of beating double-digit gains in recent quarters.

While stocks have not returned to the lurching moves of last summer, the market has been more volatile in April than it was in January, February and March.

The S&P 500 gained 21.21 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,390.78. All 10 of its industry groups rose - nine of them by more than 1 percent.

Utilities rose only 0.6 percent. Those stocks offer modest, stable returns in periods of weak growth but tend to suffer when the economy rebounds.

The Nasdaq composite index soared 54.42 points, or 1.8 percent, to 3,042.82. Apple, the most valuable company by market value, rose 5.1 percent after five straight days of losses that wiped out about $60 billion in market value.

Factory output fell after four strong months of gains.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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