Major Averages Snap Back to Close Higher

The Dow records its fifth-best point gain ever, and the Nasdaq rises 5.3%.
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Updated from 3:22 p.m. EDT

U.S. stocks closed sharply higher Monday following mostly strong sessions overseas.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 367.63 points, or 4.5%, to 8603.44, and recorded the fifth-biggest point gain in the history of the average. The

Nasdaq

was up 75.92 points, or 5.3%, to 1499.11, and the

S&P 500

gained 37.63 points, or 3.9%, to 1003.43. Volume was again heavy on the

New York Stock Exchange

and the Nasdaq. Chips, banks and Internet stocks were stronger, but biotechs dipped into negative territory. In a separate story,

TheStreet.com

took a

broader look at how the various sectors fared.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 gained about 4.1% at 4614, while the Paris CAC-40 added 5.7% to 3861. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 3.9% to 9285, but Tokyo's Nikkei lost 2.4% to 9555.

Investors seemed to react positively to news Monday that President Bush plans to freeze assets associated with suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. The U.S. government is also laying out its case against bin Laden and saying that he was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A lack of military action over the weekend appeared to be behind a steep drop in the price of oil Monday morning. Brent North Sea crude fell about 12% to $22.30 a barrel in its biggest decline since January 1991.

U.S. equities are coming off their worst weekly percentage decline since World War II, having lost more than 14% of their value over five sessions. War worries combined with concern about the economy also battered the Nasdaq, which was off more than 16% on the week.

In corporate news,

VeriSign

(VRSN) - Get Report

said Monday it agreed to acquire

Illuminet

(ILUM)

for stock worth $1.2 billion, while

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

said it expects first-quarter sales to be $325 million, compared to a consensus estimate of $357 million compiled by First Call/Thomson Financial. VeriSign was up 3.5% to $39.64, and Illuminet climbed 2.7% to $35.93. JDS gained 16.6% to $6.25.

The 10-year Treasury bond was recently losing 9/32 to 102 5/32, yielding 4.72%. The dollar was higher against the yen after what appeared to be another intervention by the Bank of Japan, but the greenback lost ground to the euro. The Japanese currency was also off against the euro.