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The stock market finally shook its post-election slump. Investors seized on hope that Washington will reach a deal on the federal budget and drove stocks to their biggest gain in two months. A pair of strong corporate earnings reports also helped.
Stocks got a modest bounce, but not enough to break even for the day, after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting appeared to show increased urgency about providing more help for the American economy.
It was a day of milestones for the stock market. Stronger corporate earnings reports and expectations that central banks will act to support the economy powered the Standard & Poor's 500 index past 1,400 for the first time in three months.
A burst of enthusiasm over a rescue of Spanish banks melted away within hours Monday, and investor anxiety about the troubled finances of Europe grew on both sides of the Atlantic.