Dow finishes nearly 500 points higher

March 23, 2009 1:42:03 PM PDT
Wall Street got the news it wanted and responded with a tremendous rally that propelled the Dow Jones industrials up nearly 500 points.

Investors reignited the market's two-week rally, cheering the government's plan to help banks remove bad assets from their books.

They're also pleased with a report showing a surprising increase in existing home sales last month.

The Dow has ended the day up 497 points at 7,775 after rising more than 500 just before the closing bell. That was its biggest point gain in more than four months.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 54 at 822 and the Nasdaq composite is up 98 at 1,555.

More than 2,800 stocks rose on the New York Stock Exchange, while just 262 fell. Volume came to a very heavy 1.91 billion shares.

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