Stocks rise on hopes for European bank plan

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are rising on hopes that Europe will finally take the bold steps needed to stem its financial crisis.

European Commission President Jose-Manuel Barroso is expected to present a plan Wednesday to strengthen weak banks and lower Greece’s debt burden. The plan is considered the strongest yet to address the debt crisis that threatens to push the global economy into another recession.

It comes a day after Slovakia rejected a bill to expand the powers of Europe’s financial rescue program. That bill is expected to pass eventually.

Shortly after the opening bell Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 56 points, or 0.5 percent, at 11,474. The Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 9, or 0.7 percent, at 1,204. The Nasdaq is up 21, or 0.8 percent, at 2,603.