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Even so, Wednesday’s performance gave no hint of the dark clouds on the horizon.

The Dow briefly surged as much as 273 points in early trading. At mid-afternoon, it was up 219 points, or 1.7 percent, to 13,323.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 24, or 1.7 percent, to 1,450. The Nasdaq composite was up 68, or 2.3 percent, to 3,088.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose sharply, to 1.83 percent from 1.75 percent. Prices for oil and metals including gold, copper and platinum, were up.

The gains persisted despite small reminders that there are still serious problems punctuating the world economy, like middling growth for the U.S. economy and the still-unsolved European debt crisis. The government reported that U.S. builders spent less on construction projects in November, the first decline in eight months. And the president of debt-wracked Cyprus said he’d refuse to sell government-owned companies, a provision that the country’s bailout deal says it must at least consider.

Among stocks making big moves, Zipcar shot up 48 percent, or $4, to $12.24 after the company said it would sell itself to Avis. Avis rose $1.02 to $20.84, about 5 percent.

Marriott rose more than 4 percent, up $1.69 to $38.96, after SunTrust analysts upgraded the stock to “buy.” Headphone maker Skullcandy dropped 13 percent, losing $1.02 to $6.77, after Jefferies analysts downgraded it to “underperform” from “buy.”