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Bank stocks, Greek deal lead stocks higher

Bank stocks and austerity measures passed in Greece helped push the Dow up 73 points and both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq up 11 points. Bank stocks rose following a settlement that Bank of America made with investors.

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In this June 27, 2011 photo, traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Austerity measures approved to prevent Greece from defaulting on its massive debts sent world stocks higher Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Bank stocks contributed to gains, too.

Seth Wenig / AP

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks closed higher for the third day in a row after Greece cleared a hurdle toward getting more emergency loans. Bank of America also reached a settlement with investors over failed mortgage securities.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 73 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 12,261 Wednesday. The S&P 500 index rose 11, or 0.8 percent, to 1,307. The Nasdaq rose 11, or 0.4 percent, to 2,740.

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Greek lawmakers passed an austerity bill that brought the country closer to getting a financial backstop needed to avoid defaulting on its debt. A default could shock global markets and raise borrowing costs for other European countries.

More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was 3.8 billion shares.