Stocks Rally To Close Sharply Higher Thursday

NEW YORK (November 1, 2012)--Stocks closed sharply higher Thursday after a series of encouraging economic reports, including a surge in consumer confidence.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 136 points to close at 13,233 Thursday, its biggest one-day gain since Sept. 13.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 to close at 1,428.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 43 to end the day at 3,020.

The Conference Board said Americans' confidence in the economy surged last month to the highest level in nearly five years.

The group said an improving job market encouraged many people.

U.S. manufacturing also expanded for the second straight month in October.

The gains were broad.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume was higher than average at 3.8 billion shares.

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