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Stocks rally as Europe unveils debt crisis plans


**FILE** A sign marks Wall Street in New York. (Associated Press)

U.S. stocks are surging at midday after European leaders agreed to a set of prescriptions aimed at easing their debt crisis.

Leaders in Brussels unveiled a plan to bail out banks directly from an existing financial rescue fund. They also said they would ease austerity measures that are causing political unrest and agonizing recessions in Greece and other nations that have gotten financial lifelines.

The Dow Jones industrial is up 223 points at 12,824 as of 11:40 a.m. EDT. The S&P 500 index is up 26 at 1,354. The Nasdaq is up 69 at 2,918.

The news out of Brussels also lifted energy prices, on the theory that a cure to Europe’s debt woes will remove one of the major drags on global growth. Benchmark oil jumped 6 percent.

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