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Stocks Soar on Wall Street

U.S. markets surged ahead Monday, making gains across the board in all major indices. The Dow enjoyed its third biggest day ever.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 447 points to close the day at 8,711, rising almost 5.5 percent. That is up more than 1,200 points up from the bottom it hit last Wednesday. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 Index also closed up almost 5.5 percent. And the technology-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index ended the day with a 73 point increase, or 5.6 percent.

Analysts say the biggest winners of the day were found the financial sector, especially Citigroup, J.P. Morgan-Chase and American Express. Oil and pharmaceutical shares participated in the widespread gains as did giants like General Electric, Microsoft and Cisco.

Charlie Mayer, an investment manager with the private Invesco firm, says strong foreign markets and a more powerful dollar helped U.S. markets open positive and stay that way. "One of the things that has helped over the last few days," he said, "is that the dollar has once again strengthened. As you know, the dollar has been pretty weak. So I think the strengthening of the dollar has encouraged some foreign money to flow back into our markets also."

Wall Street observers also say strong performances by airline and lodging equities may bode well for a recovery in the travel industry.

On the downside, telephone service provider Qwest Communications announced it is adjusting its financial statements for the past three years. Qwest is already under investigation for its accounting practices. Analysts hope the market's calm reaction to the latest news is a sign that investor confidence is returning after a series of corporate scandals.