Stocks Nearly Break-Even for Year

It may have been a tough morning commute to the trading floors, but today's surging stocks are a much-needed dose of positivity for Wall Street. The Dow rose 2.26 percent, putting it within half a percentage point of breaking even in 2011. Insurers experienced some of the biggest gains after Hurricane Irene wreaked less havoc than expected: the insurer Travelers rose 4.7 percent, and Lincoln National rose 8.1. Bank of America rose 6.8 percent after agreeing to sell half its shares in China Construction Bank. In other economic news, consumer spending made a higher-than-expected leap during July.