Stocks rise on help for European banks; Dow up 183

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are closing sharply higher for a third straight day after U.S. retailers reported stronger September sales and the European Central Bank moved to support that region’s lenders.

Target, Nordstrom, Macy’s and other retailers reported sales that beat Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts said the results suggested the U.S. was not in another recession.

In Europe, investors cheered a promise from the European Central Bank to provide loans to shield banks from big losses if Greece defaults on its debt.

The Dow jumped 183, or 1.7 percent, to 11,123. The S&P 500 gained 21, or 1.8 percent, to 1,165. The Nasdaq composite rose 46, or 1.9 percent, to 2,507.

Five stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was above average at 4.9 billion shares.