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Published: Wednesday, 3/14/2012

Banks drive market to year's biggest gains

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

NEW YORK -- Bank stocks turbocharged a rally across the financial markets Tuesday, and all three major stock indexes posted their biggest gains of the year.

The Dow finished at 13,177.68, its highest close since the last day of 2007. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 24.87 points at 1,395.96, its highest since June 5, 2008. It has gained 11 percent since Jan. 1 The Nasdaq index rose 56.22 points to 3,039.88.

The market soared in the final hour after JPMorgan Chase, the country's largest bank by assets, announced it plans to buy back as much as $15 billion of its stock and raise its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 30 cents a share.



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