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US Stocks Soar; Biggest Dow Gain Since 2002


U.S. stocks soared on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve and other major central banks worldwide said they would provide more than $200 billion to banks and mortgage providers struggling for cash.

The Fed - acting in coordination with the central banks in Canada and Europe - offered $200 billion and said it could increase the size of the program if needed. The other central banks offered up about $25 billion.

The move bolstered U.S. stock markets burdened by soaring oil prices and a weak dollar. The Dow Jones Industrial Average - a main barometer of the U. S. stock market - rose 3.6 percent - its biggest one-day gain in more than five years.

Earlier, crude oil prices closed at a record high just under $109 a barrel.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says President Bush welcomes the steps being taken by the Federal Reserve and the other central banks, and has full confidence in Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Perino also said the White House is concerned about the high gasoline prices and their impact on U.S. consumers and small businesses.

Perino, however, said there was nothing Mr. Bush could do to bring gasoline costs down quickly and that the issue is something that quote, "we are all going to have to work through."

Some information for this report was provided by AP , Bloomberg and Reuters.

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