Stocks jump after Italy passes economic reforms

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NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are opening higher as new governments get ready to take over in Italy and Greece, the two countries at the center of Europe’s debt crisis.

Minutes after the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 176 points, or 1.5 percent, to 12,072. The S&P 500 rose 17, or 1.4 percent, to 1,257. The Nasdaq composite rose 31, or 1.2 percent, to 2,656.

Italy’s Senate approved an economic reform bill Friday, opening the way for Premier Silvio Berlusconi to step down. Two-year Italian government borrowing costs dropped below 6 percent after topping 7 percent earlier in the week. Markets were pummeled Wednesday when Italy’s borrowing costs spiked.

After Italy’s Senate passed the bill, world markets turned higher, the euro edged up and oil rose above $98 a barrel.