Nov. 8, 2011 at 2:06 PM ET
By msnbc.com staff and wire
Stocks spiked to trade near their session highs Tuesday 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.
Just after 2 p.m. Eastern the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.37 percent. The S&P 500 rose 0.57 percent. The Nasdaq was 0.68 percent higher. Prior to the announcement, stocks had traded flat or lower.
Investors hope his ouster will better enable Italy to handle its massive debt issues.
Previously: Stocks trading flat in early afternoon