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Stocks end higher after Europe steps up stimulus

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are ending higher after the European Central Bank took new steps to boost the region's sluggish economy.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 1,940 on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 98 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,836. Both indexes closed at record highs.

The Nasdaq composite increased 44 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,296. The Nasdaq is still far below its record high.

The ECB cut two key interest rates in an effort to get that region's economy growing faster.

In the U.S., Rite Aid fell 9 percent after cutting its earnings forecast.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.58 percent.

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