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Stocks mount strong rally, rebounding from sell-off

Richard Drew / AP

Traders Michael Zicchinolfi, left, and Michael Lawrence work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.

By msnbc.com news services

U.S. stocks surged at Tuesday’s open, rebounding from a sharp decline in the prior session, as a drop in Spain's borrowing costs eased euro zone debt worries.

Short-term financing costs for struggling Spain more than halved as banks lapped up debt at an auction, with much of the purchasing power said to have come from cut-rate loans from the European Central Bank.

The Dow Jones industrial average was lately up around 275 points and trading back above the 12,000 level.

Good news on the economic front also boosted stocks. Data released before the open showed U.S. housing starts surged to a 1-1/2 year high in November and permits for future construction were the highest since March 2010 as demand for rental apartments rose.

U.S. banks, plagued by concerns about exposure to the euro zone crisis, dragged U.S. stocks lower Monday, with losses accelerating late in the session. Bank of America Corp's stock price fell below $5 for the first time in nearly three years.

Headlines and fluctuating bond prices out of the euro zone continued to spark high volatility. The market will be prone to large swings this week on expected low volume due to the upcoming Christmas holiday.

"We will continue to see it as we get a lot of volatility, mainly because there are no new assets coming back into the equity markets to drive direction in the market," said Nathan Snyder, portfolio manager at Snow Capital Management in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

"The market is obviously built off expectations -- the expectations at this point are for continued problems in Europe and then potentially problems in China. That is what is baked in and anything that disrupts that or enhances that view is only going to add to the trading in the marketplace. Whether that is up or down from these valuations is anybody's guess."

AT&T Inc was struggling after it dropped its controversial bid for T-Mobile USA, the Deutsche Telekom unit, bowing to fierce regulatory opposition.

Red Hat Inc slid after the Business software maker forecast fourth-quarter revenue below expectations, hurt by a weaker euro.

Navistar International Corp jumped after quarterly profit exceeded expectations as it reported its best annual performance since 2008.

Reuters contributed to this report.