Markets climb at closing bell on hopes recovery signs prove real

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Stocks surged in the final half hour of trading today, capping a third straight month of gains, as commodity and bank shares bounced and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 97 points, or 1.15 percent, to 8,500. Traders betting that an economic recovery could be at hand built up their positions in sectors that have suffered in the global downturn. Monsanto (MON), Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) and U.S. Steel (X) all outperformed the broader markets.

But General Motors (GM), set to seek bankruptcy protection early next week, fell 33 percent to below $1 a share. The automaker reached an agreement with workers designed to speed its re-emergence from bankruptcy, according to reports.

For more stocks making moves today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap-up.
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