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Stocks jump on bank plan, rise in home sales

Stocks extend rally on gov't plan to soak up bad bank assets; home sales show surprise gain

  • Monday March 23, 2009, 11:43 am EDT
  • Buzz up!

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street is getting the good news it wants on the economy's biggest problems: banks and housing.

Investors have reignited a two-week rally Monday after hearing the government's plan to help banks remove as much as $1 trillion in bad assets from their books. Home sales also showed a surprise increase.

The Treasury Department says its plan will rely on a mix of government and private money. The rise in home sales comes as prices fall. Traders are eager for any sign that a glut of available homes is easing.

In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 281 points at 7,559. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 30 at 799, while the Nasdaq composite index is up 53 at