NEW YORK - Stocks are closing sharply higher on Wall Street as traders turn their focus back to corporate news from the U.S. and hopes that the Federal Reserve will come up with a plan to jumpstart the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 96 points at 12,837, the highest in a month.
Microsoft was one of the biggest gainers in the Dow. The stock jumped 3 percent after the company announced a new tablet computer called Surface to compete with the immensely popular iPad from Apple.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 13 points to 1,358 Tuesday. The Nasdaq composite index rose 34 points to 2,930.
About five stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.8 billion shares.
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