Stocks stage afternoon rally; Gold drops $104

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are closing higher after a late afternoon surge. Gold dropped $104, the dollar and government bond yields rose as investors became less fearful.

A rise in orders for long-lasting goods like cars and aircraft in July eased fears that the U.S. was headed for another recession.

Stocks rose for a third straight day, but only after swinging from gains to losses and back again. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 144 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 11,321 Wednesday.

The S&P 500 index rose 15, or 1.3 percent, to 1,178. The Nasdaq rose 22, or 0.9 percent, to 2,468.

More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange Trading volume was above average at 4.6 billion shares.