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Stocks Soar on a Boost from Airlines and Biotech Companies

Stocks rose for the third time in four days on Wednesday as a rally in airlines and biotech firms led gains across the board and investors anticipated an easing of geopolitical tensions, especially in Ukraine-Russia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 91 points higher, the S&P 500 rose 12 points and the Nasdaq added 44 points, or 1 percent. "It's not a market that is being driven by divisive issues," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. The broad gains are "a good indicator that geopolitical concerns just maybe might wane for the week."Calming words from Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski gave investors some comfort along with reports a Russian convoy in Ukraine will travel under cooperation with the Red Cross. Earlier, stock futures did not move significantly on news that retail sales in July were flat, and the weakest reading since January.

Good time to bet on banks? 1:43

IN DEPTH

- Evelyn Cheng, CNBC.com