Stocks Ended Higher on European Summit Hopes

U.S. stocks closed with broad gains Wednesday as the slow progress from European leaders in resolving their debt crisis was enough to satisfy investors, even if the first reports from an EU summit were short on details. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 162.42 points, or 1.39%, to 11,869.04. The S&P 500 rose 12.95 points, or 1.05%, to 1,242.00. The Nasdaq Composite gained 12.25 points, or 0.46%, to 2,650.67.

European countries will force their largest banks to quickly increase their capital buffers as part of a grand strategy to solve the continent’s debt troubles, but leaders gathered at a crisis summit struggled to agree on the other key parts of the plan.

As President Obama prepared to announce new measures Wednesday to help ease the burden of student loan debt, new figures painted a demoralizing picture of college costs for students and parents: Average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or 8.3 percent, compared with a year ago.

Sales of new homes rose in September after four straight monthly declines, largely because builders cut their prices in the face of depressed demand. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales increased 5.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 homes.

International Business Machines Corp.’s Virginia “Ginni” Rometty has grown throughout her career by taking on challenges she’s never faced before. Now she’ll tackle something no one has ever done.

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