Markets closed up today:
▲ Dow: +2.20 percent
▲ Nasdaq: +3.00 percent
▲ S&P: +2.49 percent
▲ Gold: up +2.74 percent to $1,598.40 an ounce
▲ Silver: up +3.98 percent to settle at $27.44
▲ Oil: +7.90 percent
Markets were up because:
Financial markets around the world stormed higher Friday after European leaders came up with a plan that will supposedly "rescue" banks and relieve debt-burdened governments.
Eurozone leaders agreed to pump money directly into stricken banks and let some countries tap into rescue money without submitting to austerity measures.
Shortly after announcing the plan, the cost for the troubled government of Spain to borrow money on the bond market fell dramatically, by more than half a percentage point, to 6.34 percent.
Previous market rallies tied to progress in Europe have proved temporary. But for the day, at least, global stock markets were jubilant:
- In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 277.83 points, its second-best showing this year. The S&P 500 index soared 33 points, or 2.5 percent. The rally left the S&P a gain of 8.3 percent at the halfway mark for the year.
- The benchmark stock index in Germany rose 4.3 percent, by far its best performance this year. Germany has the biggest economy in Europe, and it depends heavily on exports, so it needs other countries to stay healthy.
- Stocks hit their highest level in two months in Italy and Spain, two of the countries with the shakiest finances. Stocks also neared a two-month high in Greece, another flashpoint of the debt crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 277 points, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index had its best day of the year. Stocks advanced even further in Europe, in strong and weak countries alike.
The price of oil posted its biggest one-day increase in more than three years, and other commodities shot higher.
Gold gained $54, the biggest jump since June 1, to $1,604 an ounce. Copper and silver both rose about 5 percent. Copper is a key material for economic expansion because of its use in electrical wiring, pipes and machinery.
The euro gained 2.3 cents against the dollar, to $1.2651.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.