NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks shot higher this morning, restoring hopes for a year-end rally as many traders returned from an extended Christmas break.

At noon on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 98.40 at 7,777.71, pushing this year's gain back above 20 percent.

Broad-market indicators were also posting sizable gains.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by more than a 2-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 203.33 million shares, twice as heavy as the anemic tally recorded at the same point during Friday's shortened session.

The Standard & Poor's 500 list was up 12.43 at 948.89, and the NYSE composite index was up 5.83 at 499.43.

The Nasdaq composite index was up 16.04 at 1,527.42, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was up 4.83 at 668.60.

The Dow's biggest gainers were J.P. Morgan, up 1 7/8 at 113 5/16; AlliedSignal, up 1 15/16 at 37 3/4; and Chevron, up 1 11/16 at 77.

There were few major developments to steer the market, although there were some encouraging signs in South Korea's fiscal crisis.

The South Korean parliament passed a financial reform package, hoping to shore up confidence among international lenders. Meanwhile, in New York, officials from major banks of the United States, Japan and Europe were meeting to discuss extending new loans and rolling over some of South Korea's short-term debts.

On overseas markets, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average slipped 0.2 percent, Frankfurt's DAX index rpse 1.8 percent and London's FT-SE 100 rose 2.0 percent.