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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Henny Ray Abrams/AP)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Henny Ray Abrams/AP)

At the open: Wall Street adds to rally on Europe, U.S. hopes Add to ...

U.S. stocks hit a three-month high on Monday as traders bet last week’s plans from the European Central Bank to lower borrowing costs in Spain and Italy would work, adding to the bullish bias following last week’s strong U.S. jobs report.

The S&P 500 faces an important technical hurdle as it trades at its highest since early May and near the 1,400 level.

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The euro was flat after recent steep gains against the U.S. dollar as caution remained about how effective the action pledged by the ECB would be.

Inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the ECB concluded a visit to Greece on Sunday saying the talks with the new coalition government were productive.

Wall Street rallied on Friday with the S&P 500 closing its fourth straight week of gains on a strong U.S. jobs report and renewed hope European authorities would act to contain the euro zone crisis through ECB purchases of Italian and Spanish bonds.

A group of investors will rescue embattled market maker Knight Capital Group Inc. in a $400-million (U.S.) deal that keeps the company in business, Knight said on Monday, but comes at a huge cost to investors. Knight shares fell 27.2 per cent to $2.95.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 68.11 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 13,164.28. The S&P 500 Index gained 7.07 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 1,398.06. The Nasdaq Composite added 17.45 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 2,985.35.

Best Buy shares jumped 18.5 per cent to $20.90 after founder and former chairman Richard Schulze offered to buy the shares he does not already own in the electronics retailer for $24 to $26 each.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. shares rose 10.9 per cent to $64.16 after the information technology services provider raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

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