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Banks

US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Govt's bank plan ignites Wall St rally

NEW YORK, March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks surged on Monday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 posting their best one-day advance in nearly five months, after the Obama administration unveiled a long-awaited plan to purge toxic assets from bank balance sheets.

* A report showing a rebound in existing-home sales in February added to the positive tone.

* The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 497.48 points, or 6.84 percent, to 7,775.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rallied 54.37 points, or 7.07 percent, to 822.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC surged 98.50 points, or 6.76 percent, to 1,555.77. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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