Stocks extend gains with Dow industrials rallying 400 points to 25,453

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Dow’s 350-point surge brings the stock-market close to reasserting a decidedly bullish pattern

U.S. stock indexes on Tuesday were rallying sharply, placing the benchmarks within range of taking a bullish turn. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 350 points, or 1.4%, at 25,402, while the S&P 500 index was climbing 1.3% at 2,744. Both gauges were on the verge of forming a a new high just below its recent record since putting in a low on Dec. 24, which some market participants view as a bullish sign. A trade above its 200-day moving average of 2,743 for the S&P 500 would put the index on pace to trade at its highest level since it put in an all-time high on Oct. 3 at 2,790.37, while Dow is struggling to climb above a Feb. 6 peak that would put it on track for its highest close since early October at 26,828.39. The blue-chip benchmark already is trading above its 200-day moving average at 25,014.45. Market technicians view higher highs and lower lows as a sign of that an asset is producing constructive moves and reasserting a bullish theme. Moving averages are viewed as one indicator of bullish and bearish momentum. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index was rallying by 1.4%, and on the verge of exiting correction territory, by at least one measure. The index fell by at least 20% from a late-August high, meeting a widely accepted definition of a market. However, the gauge has climbed nearly 20% from its bear-market low, put in on Dec. 24. A finish at or above 7,431.50 for the Nasdaq would mark a rise of 20% from that recent low and would signal that it has exited a bear market.

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