Stocks rise on help for European banks

By DAVID K. RANDALL | October 6, 2011 | 11:55 AM EDT

In this Oct. 4, 2011 photo, trader Vincent Quinones, second from right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Hopes that Europe is preparing a big plan to shore up its banks gave stocks around the world another lift Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, ahead of keenly-awaited policy decisions from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in midday trading after the European Central Bank moved to support that region's lenders and U.S. retailers reported stronger sales for September.

The ECB said it would extend more emergency loans to banks. It also said it would buy bank bonds to make it easier for them to lend. Investors have been worried the banks could get hurt if the Greek government defaults on its debt, causing its bonds to lose value.

Target, Nordstrom and other retailers reported sales that beat Wall Street's expectations. The gains suggested the U.S is not headed for another recession.

The Dow was up 111 points, or 1 percent, to 11,051 shortly before noon. The S&P rose 14, or 1.3 percent, to 1,158. The Nasdaq rose 31, or 1.3 percent, to 2,491.