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Stocks Finish June in Fine Fashion


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks staged a huge rally Friday as investors cheered the progress being made at the latest Europe Union summit on concrete measures to address the region's debt crisis.

Trading was volatile across a swath of asset classes with gold jumping more than $50 to breach $1600 an ounce, oil making a convincing break back above $80 a barrel, bonds selling off sharply and the dollar tumbling more than 1% against a basket of foreign currencies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared nearly 278 points, or 2.2%, to close at 12,880. The blue-chip index rose 1.9% for the week and finished June with a gain of nearly 4%. Despite a 2.5% decline in the calendar second quarter, the Dow is now up 5.4% so far in 2012.

The S&P 500 surged 33 points, or 2.5%, to finish at 1362, right at its high for the day. The benchmark index advanced 2% for the week, putting it up 4% for the month. Although the S&P 500 fell 3.3% during the quarter, it's appreciated 8.3% year-to-date.

The Nasdaq jumped close to 86 points, or 3%, to settle at 2935, logging its fourth-straight weekly gain. The index booked a 1.5% rise for the week and added 3.8% in June. For the year, the Nasdaq is up 12.7% but it lost 5% in the calendar second quarter.

The three major averages managed to record their first concurrent June gains since 2004.

Within the Dow, 29 of the 30 components finished higher, led by Bank of America (BAC), Boeing (BA), Cisco (CSCO), General Electric (GE), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Intel (INTC), and United Technologies (UTX), all of which gained more than 3%.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was the only blue chip to close in negative territory. The bank's stock dipped nominally, extending Thursday's decline after a media report said losses from its bad trade on credit derivatives could reach as high as $9 billion.

All ten large-cap sectors advanced with basic materials, capital goods, conglomerates, energy and technology clocking in as the strongest performing sectors.

Gainers outpaced losers by a ratio of more than 6-to-1 on the New York Exchange and more than 5-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

Europe's leaders agreed overnight to take action to reduce Italy and Spain's borrowing costs and relax rules on tapping into bailout funds to boost the troubled Spanish banking system. They also revealed a $149 billion economic growth plan for the eurozone.

"Several things did occur which are worth not dismissing outright," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG. But "as we have long said that the only 'real' means by which to end this crisis certainly involves a euro TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) style program; we are yet again a bit disappointed."

"The key issue," said Marty Leclerc, chief investment officer at Barrack Yard Advisors, is that "Europeans haven't decided what it ultimately means to live in euro-land, and in order for a euro-land to exist as a union, the politicians have to figure out a way of dealing with the imbalances that a union creates."

Jeffrey Sica, manager of SICA Wealth Management, said right now he maintains short positions in most U.S. equity indices on concerns of declines in stocks attributable to the interdependence between U.S. and European banks. However, "we will avoid increases in short positions on the U.S. equity market due to the likelihood that our central bank will use the promise of more liquidity to stabilize stock prices."
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