Europe talks, consumer confidence send stocks up

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NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are rising in early trading Tuesday, a day after a huge rally, as European leaders struggle to craft new cures for the region’s debt crisis. The market also got a lift from a jump in U.S. consumer confidence.

Europe’s finance ministers met Tuesday to discuss ideas for salvaging the region’s finances and shared currency that would have been off-limits only recently, including countries ceding fiscal sovereignty to a central authority.

Europe’s proposals for wriggling out of a potential financial catastrophe have become more radical as borrowing costs for the region’s large economies, including Spain and Italy, spike. President Barack Obama said Monday in a meeting with top EU officials that if Europe failed to solve its crisis, the U.S. economy would suffer.

AMR Corp. plunged 85 percent after the parent company of American Airlines said it would file for Chapter 11 because it can no longer shoulder rising fuel costs and its heavy debt load. Competitor United Continental Holdings Inc. jumped 6.6 percent, and Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 5.2 percent. AMR Corp. has continued to lose money while other U.S. airlines returned to profitability in the last two years.

Stocks started with small gains and moved higher after 10 a.m., when the Conference Board, a private research group, reported that its Consumer Confidence Index jumped in in November to its highest level since July.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61 points, or 0.5 percent, to 11,584 at 10:15 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow jumped 291 Monday on expectations that European leaders were moving more aggressively to prevent the region’s debt crisis from causing a catastrophic breakup of their currency union.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 7, or 0.6 percent, to 1,199. The S&P broke a seven-day losing streak Monday. The Nasdaq composite rose 7, or 0.3 percent, to 2,534.

Tiffany & Co. plunged 11 percent, the most of any stock in the S&P 500, after the luxury retailer forecast fourth-quarter earnings that were below Wall Street’s expectations. The fourth quarter includes the holiday shopping season.

Seagate Technology PLC jumped 5 percent after the hard drive maker forecast revenue for the current quarter that was higher than analysts were expecting. Citi analyst Joe Yoo said higher hard disk drive prices were driving the gain.