NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing at their highest level since last summer.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index is finishing the day up 14 points at 1,308. That's the first close above 1,300 since July 28. The Dow Jones industrial average added 97 points to end at 12,579, the highest since July 25.
On Wednesday, the market got a push from reports that the International Monetary Fund may get more cash to help countries struggling to manage their debt. A strong report on the housing market helped stocks, too.
Banking and technology stocks led the market higher.
Rising stocks outnumbered falling ones four-to-one on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly below average at 4 billion shares.