Stocks have closed higher on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 102 points, the S&P 500 was up 15 and the Nasdaq composite rose 32. Stocks shot up after Italy's premier promised to resign once a new budget is approved.
- Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says he will resign after parliament passes economic reforms to settle financial markets that have lost confidence in Italy's ability to rein in debt. He says who leads the government is less important than doing "what is right for the country."
- U.S. government bond prices dipped after Italy's leader agreed to resign. Concerns that Europe's debt crisis would spread have pushed up Italy's borrowing rates. Those concerns have also lowered U.S. rates as traders buy investments seen as relatively safe such as Treasurys. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.04 percent late today, up from 2.01 percent yesterday. Bond yields rise when prices fall.
- Oil prices are climbing toward $100 a barrel. Benchmark crude rose $1.28 today on the New York Mercantile Exchange, closing at $96.80. The price of crude has jumped 22 percent since the beginning of October.
- Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL are teaming up to sell some of the online advertising space they've had trouble selling on their own. The alliance announced today represents a joint attack on Internet search leader Google. The partnership covers a category of advertising that doesn't typically appear in the prime slots on websites.
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