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Banks lead a rally after getting cleared to raise dividends

March 12, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — Financial stocks are leading U.S. market indexes higher a day after a number of banks announced dividend increases and stock buybacks.

Morgan Stanley gained 4 percent in midday trading Thursday. The bank raised its dividend and announced a share buyback after getting permission to do so from the Federal Reserve. Other banks also rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 190 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,827 as of 11:45 am. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 19 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,059. The Nasdaq composite rose 26 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,875.

Intel fell 4 percent after slashing its revenue forecast.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.08 percent.

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