Nov. 8, 2011 at 4:03 PM ET
By msnbc.com staff and news services
Stocks staged an afternoon rally Tuesday, ending the day with sharply higher after news that after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he will step down.
Berlusconi promised to resign after parliament passes economic reforms demanded by the European Union to save Italy from getting engulfed further in Europe's debt crisis.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average ended 102.02 higher, or 0.85 percent, to 12,170.41. A Monday rally had the Dow back over 12,000, and at its highest close since Oct. 28.
The S&P 500 rose 14.80, or 1.17 percent, to 1,275.94. The Nasdaq ended 33.24 higher, or 1.20 percent, to 2,727.49.
The hope was with his ouster the country would be able to better handle its massive debt issues.
"The market is up because at least one half of the battle is done, but we still have the other half left. We still need to find out how he will be replaced," said Jack DeGan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, told Reuters.
Stocks had been up immediately after the opening bell, but began falling an hour into the trading day.
Investors got a bit of good news about the U.S. economy as the Labor Department reported that employers are advertising more jobs than at any point in the last three years.
CNBC's news team breaks down today's trading session, including news out of Europe.