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US stocks enjoy biggest weekly rise since March

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The US stock market had its best week in four months, buoyed by strong earnings reports from big banks and high-tech firms.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7 percent for the week to close at 8743.93. It was the strongest weekly showing for the blue-chip index since a 9 percent gain in mid-March, just as stocks began their climb from lows not seen since 1997.

The Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq indexes turned in similarly strong performances, each rising 7 percent for the week. The S&P 500 closed at 940.38 and the Nasdaq ended the week at 1886.61. For the Dow and the S&P, Friday's close marked their highest level in a month. For the Nasdaq, it was the highest level since October 2008.

This week's impressive five-day run-up means that all the major indexes except the Dow are in positive territory for the year. The Dow is less than 1 percent below its close on Dec. 31, 2008.

Stocks were buoyed by a combination of encouraging economic reports and better-than-expected earnings from key companies, including IBM, Google, Intel, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase.

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