Stocks edge up as calm returns to markets

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NEW YORK (AP) ? Stock indexes are slightly higher in midday trading after the previous day’s big declines. Strong participation from buyers at a bond sale backing Europe’s bailout fund and at an auction of Spanish government debt helped reassure investors.

Spain was able to sell short-term bonds at much lower interest rates Tuesday compared with a month ago, a signal that markets are becoming less fearful about the government’s ability to repay its debt.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 57 points, or 0.5 percent to 12,077 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.

The S&P 500 index is up 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,241. Energy companies made the largest gains in early trading as crude oil rose back above $100.

The Nasdaq composite rose 2 points to 2,614.