Stocks Rally as Italian Yields Decline

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday as a retreat in Italian bond yields, a rise in a U.S. consumer sentiment survey fed investor appetite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 259.89 points, or 2.19%, to 12,153.68. The S&P 500 rose 24.16 points, or 1.95%, to 1,263.85. The Nasdaq Composite rose 53.60 points, or 2.04%, to 2,678.75. For the week, the Dow gained 1.4%, the S&P 500 rose 0.9% and the Nasdaq slid 0.3%.

Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell below 4% for the second time this year.Rates on the 30-year mortgage averaged 3.99% for the week ending Nov. 10, down from 4% last week and 4.17% a year ago, McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac said Thursday.

Caterpillar Inc. said late Friday it will invest about $740 million to expand its mining truck and tractor capacity in the United States and Indonesia.The heavy equipment maker said it will invest nearly $300 million to expand mining truck capacity in Decatur, Ill. and sink about $150 million in a new mining truck factory in Batam, Indonesia. Caterpillar also said it will invest about $340 million to expand production of large track-type tractors in East Peoria, Ill.

A federal judge ordered Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group hedge fund founder sentenced to 11 years in prison for insider trading, to pay a record $92.8 million penalty in a related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil case.

Defunct trading company MF Global Inc. has terminated its entire workforce of 1,066 employees, the trustee for its liquidation said Friday. James W. Giddens, the court- appointed trustee for the liquidation of MF Global, said in a statement that the company is dismissing workers in accordance with a bankruptcy court mandate. Between 150 and 200 former employees are being hired to assist with the liquidation and court proceedings.

Greece’s new technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos assumed power Friday at the helm of an interim coalition government that will seek to push through tough economic reforms and ensure the country avoids a catastrophic default.

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