A move by the world’s central banks to lower the cost of borrowing exhilarated investors Wednesday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average soaring 490 points and easing fears of a global credit crisis similar to the one that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.
It was the Dow’s biggest gain since March 2009 and the seventh-largest of all time.
Large U.S. banks were among the top performers. Markets in Europe surged, too, with Germany’s DAX index climbing 5 percent.
The Dow rose 4.2 percent to close at 12,045. It has more than gained back the 564-point slump it had last week. It is up 813 points, or 7.3 percent, so far this week.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed up 52, or 4.3 percent, at 1,247. The Nasdaq composite index closed up 105, or 4.2 percent, at 2,620.