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U.S. Stocks Advance as S&P 500 Heads for Best Month Since 1974

U.S. stocks rose this week, driving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index toward the biggest monthly gain since 1974, after European leaders agreed to expand the region’s bailout fund and American economic growth accelerated.

Bank of America Corp., Alcoa Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. jumped at least 10 percent to lead Dow Jones Industrial Average gains. Raw-material and financial shares led an advance by all 10 industries in the S&P 500, adding more than 6.9 percent. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rose 26 percent after profit beat estimates. Hewlett-Packard Co. advanced 10 percent after abandoning plans to spin off its personal-computer business.