Stocks jump on European pledge to help banks

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are rising sharply after the leaders of France and Germany promised to strengthen Europe’s banks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said a “comprehensive response” to the debt crisis would be finalized by the end of the month, including a plan to make sure that banks have adequate capital. That reassured investors, even though the leaders provided few specifics.

Shortly after the opening bell Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 189 points, or 1.7 percent, at 11,293.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up 22, or 1.9 percent, to 1,177. The Nasdaq composite index is up 45, or 1.8 percent, at 2,525.

The bond market is closed for the Columbus Day holiday.