U.S. Stocks Open Sharply Higher

Associated Press + More

By PALLAVI GOGOI, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening sharply higher on Wall Street after China cut its benchmark lending rate in another bid to boost its slowing economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 131 points at 12,545. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 13 points to 1,328 and the Nasdaq composite index is up 29 points to 2,873.

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The decision by the Chinese central bank to cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point is the latest bid by that country to keep its economic growing.

Traders are also looking to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress later for signals that the Fed might take more steps to help the U.S. economy.

The Dow surged 286 points Wednesday on hopes for new economic stimulus in the U.S. and Europe.

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