Stocks leap on central banks’ coordinated action

Stocks are soaring in early trading after major central banks acted to avert a credit crunch.

The central banks of Europe, the U.S., Britain, Canada, Japan and Switzerland eased banks’ access to dollars by reducing their borrowing rates. The move responds to fears that a European country would default, touching off a credit crunch similar to what followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Banks need dollars to fund their daily operations. Their access dried up as U.S. money market funds reduced their lending to European banks.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 319, or 2.8 percent, at 11,874 in early trading Wednesday. The S&P 500 is up 32, or 2.7 percent, at 1,227. The Nasdaq is up 70, or 2.8 percent, at 2,586.