Stocks Rally on Europe Optimism

U.S. stocks surged into the close of trading Friday as optimism over an upcoming Europe leaders meeting lured in buyers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 267.01 points, or 2.31%, at 11,808.79. The blue-chip index rose 1.4% for the week. The S&P 500 added 22.86 points, or 1.88%, to 1,238.25. It gained 1.1% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite added 38.84 points, or 1.49%, to 2,637.46. It fell 1.1% this week.

Finance ministers from the 17 euro countries agreed Friday to pay Greece its next batch of bailout loans, avoiding a potentially disastrous default, but acknowledged the country’s debt remained too high.

Ford’s credit rating was lifted to within one level of investment grade Friday, making it cheaper for the automaker to borrow, after it secured a new contract with workers. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services raised Ford two levels to “BB+” from “BB-,” saying the agreement will allow its North American operations to remain profitable.

Earnings doubled at Verizon Communications Inc. in the latest quarter due to pension accounting effects, but the bottom-line result masked a weak quarter in the local-phone division, which was hammered by a strike and a hurricane. Verizon on Friday said its net income rose to $1.38 billion, or 49 cents per share, in the three months ended Sep. 30. That’s up from $659 million, or 23 cents per share, a year ago.

Crude-oil futures closed higher Friday on guarded optimism about the euro zone and weakness in the U.S. dollar. Crude for December  added $1.33, or 1.6%, to settle at $87.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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