Stocks close at highest level in more than 2 years - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Stocks close at highest level in more than 2 years

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are ending the day at their highest levels in more than two years after a successful bond auction in Portugal eased worries about Europe's debt crisis.

Financial firms led stocks higher Wednesday on hopes that banks would start raising their dividends this year.

An analyst at Wells Fargo Securities issued a report saying banks' earnings should grow much faster than other companies this year, allowing them to raise dividends.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 83 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 11,755.

The S&P 500 index gained 11, or 0.9 percent, to 1,285.

The Nasdaq composite rose 20, or 0.7 percent, to 2,737.

More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was 964 million shares.

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