Stocks rise on hopes of new debt plan in Europe

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are edging higher on hopes that European leaders will come up with a new strategy to resolve the region’s debt crisis.

Finance officials met in Washington this weekend and pledged to take bolder steps to fight the debt problems, which threaten to slow the global economy. They offered few specifics.

Leaders have talked about increasing the $595 billion European rescue fund by perhaps allowing it to take loans from the European Central Bank. Economists have also suggested that the central bank cut interest rates.

Shortly after the opening bell Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 73 points, or 0.7 percent, at 10,844. The Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 8, or 0.7 percent, at 1,145. The Nasdaq composite index is up 9, or 0.4 percent, at 2,493.