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      Stocks soar following black Friday

      NEW YORK (AP) -- A strong start to the U.S. shopping season and new hope for a far-reaching solution to Europe's debt crisis sent stocks sharply higher.

      Retail stocks jumped Monday after a record number of shoppers bought gifts over Thanksgiving weekend, a make-or-break time for many retailers. For the past six years, Black Friday has been the biggest retail sales day of the year.

      European markets also soared as leaders there discussed new approaches for containing the region's debt troubles. Investors hope the recent spike in borrowing costs for European countries will spur the region's leaders to take decisive action.

      The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 291 points, or 2.6 percent, to 11,523. The S&P 500 rose 34, or 2.9 percent, to 1,193. The Nasdaq composite rose 86, or 3.5 percent, to 2,527.

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