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Published: Thursday, 3/1/2012

Banks rally after panel says Greek deal didn't trigger insurance payments

Nasdaq nears 3,000

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Stocks closed higher Thursday after applications for unemployment benefits hit a four-year low and retailers reported better February sales.

Banks dodged a big hit from the Greek debt crisis and rallied Thursday to lead the market higher. A markets panel ruled that Greece's plan to restructure its debt should not trigger any bond-insurance payments yet.

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America were among the top gainers in the Dow Jones industrial average. The Dow rose 28 points to 12,980, a gain of 0.2 percent.

The S&P 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,374.

The Nasdaq rose 22 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,989.

More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.



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