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Business

Stocks reverse steep losses

February 23, 2008

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— Wall Street staged a dramatic turnaround Friday, shooting higher in the last half-hour of trading after word that a bailout plan for troubled bond insurer Ambac Financial could be announced next week.

CNBC reported shortly before the closing bell that a plan to help shore up the finances of Ambac Financial Group Inc. could be announced Monday or Tuesday. Ambac shares jumped on the report and finished up $1.48, or 16 percent, at $10.71.

The market's turnaround came after nearly two days selling. The Dow Jones industrial average had been down more than 100 points Friday, but by the close, showed a 225-point reversal from its lows of the session.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 96.72, or 0.79 percent, to 12,381.02.

Broader stock indicators also moved higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.58, or 0.79 percent, to 1,353.11, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 3.57, or 0.16 percent, to 2,303.35.

For the week, the Dow edged up 0.27 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 0.23 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.79 percent.

The market's early decline Friday followed a sell-off Thursday that left the Dow down more than 140 points, or 1.15 percent.

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