U.S. stock market stretched its gain into third month after consumer confidence improved unexpectedly last month and the Fed said that the worst of the recession may be behind us. Stocks were also boosted by quarterly earnings news as two-third companies in the S&P 500 have reported strong numbers so far. For the week, the Dow rose 1.69% to 8,212.41, the Nasdaq added 1.47% to 1,719.20, and the S&P 500 climbed 1.30% to 877.52, the highest level since early January. Crude oil surged 3.20% to close the week at $53.20 a barrel. As stocks kept moving higher, precious metals lost the appeal to investors. Gold dropped 2.81% to $886.95 an ounce and silver tumbled 3.03% to $12.50/ounce.
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