Financial markets around the world stormed higher yesterday after European leaders came up with a breakthrough plan to rescue banks, relieve debt-burdened governments and restore investor confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 277 points, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index had its best day of the year. Stocks advanced even further in Europe, in strong and weak countries alike. The price of oil posted its biggest one-day increase in more than three years, and other commodities shot higher — signs of hope that a deal in Europe will remove a big barrier to a healthier world economy. In Brussels, leaders of the 17 countries that use the euro appeared finally to have found a broad strategy to fight a debt crisis that has hounded European governments and world investors for three years. The leaders agreed to pump money directly into stricken banks, let some countries tap into rescue money without submitting to stringent budget requirements and, later, tie European governments closer in economic union. Stock gains in Germany David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, said it was becoming clear that European leaders will compromise to solve the crisis. One of the biggest stock gains yesterday came in Germany, which took a hard line in earlier negotiations. “The whole language is positive here,” he said. “Every time they’ve stared over the cliff into the abyss of a euro breakup, they’ve realised it’s much wiser to get closer together.” There was a sign immediately that Europe’s latest plan was working: The cost for the troubled government of Spain to borrow money on the bond market fell dramatically, by more than half a percentage point, to 6.34 per cent. Previous market rallies tied to progress in Europe have proved temporary. But for the day, at least, global stock markets were jubilant: — In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 277.83 points, its second-best showing this year. The S&P 500 index soared 33 points, or 2.5 per cent. The rally left the S&P a gain of 8.3 per cent at the halfway mark for the year. — The benchmark stock index in Germany rose 4.3 per cent, by far its best performance this year. Germany has the biggest economy in Europe, and it depends heavily on exports, so it needs other countries to stay healthy. — Stocks hit their highest level in two months in Italy and Spain, two of the countries with the shakiest finances. Stocks also neared a two-month high in Greece, another flashpoint of the debt crisis. Safe haven Traders sold US Treasurys, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 1.65 per cent from 1.57 per cent late Thursday, as demand decreased for ultra-safe investments and investors raised money to buy stocks. Energy prices rose sharply because a cure for Europe’s debt problem would remove a big drag on global economic growth. The price of oil jumped $7.27 per barrel to $84.96. It was a gain of 9.4 per cent, the biggest for oil since March 2009. Seven of the 17 euro countries are in recession, and unemployment in euro countries is 11 per cent. But if Europe gets its economy going, it will buy more goods and services from countries in Asia and the US. Gold gained $54, the biggest jump since June 1, to $1,604 an ounce. Copper and silver both rose about 5 per cent. Copper is a key material for economic expansion because of its use in electrical wiring, pipes and machinery. The euro gained 2.3 cents against the dollar, to $1.2651. Stocks stage late comeback On Thursday, economic reports from the United States were discouraging, and the Dow fell as much as 177 points. But stocks staged a big comeback late in the day and closed down modestly, partly because rumours swirled that European leaders were more conciliatory. News of the deal in Europe broke overnight, and yesterday, stocks soared from the open. The Dow swung 430 points between its Thursday low and the high it reached late yesterday. Some market analysts remained cautious. Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners LLC, a New York hedge fund, said he expects more sharp leaps and dives this summer as traders speculate about Europe’s future. “This Europe thing is going to trade up and down based on the news of the day,” Landesman said. Kelly took a brighter view. Besides the Europe deal, he referred to a Greek election this month won by parties that support a European bailout, and the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to uphold most of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. “Uncertainty is diminishing,” he said. “These are all big question marks that have been out there, and as those question marks decrease, stock prices and interest rates increase.” Job generation in the US As the first half of the year ends, there are still reasons to worry about the world economy: China’s expansion is slowing, and US employers have created far fewer jobs in March, April and May than the three months before. A report next Friday is expected to show another month of anaemic US job growth. Because of the economic fears and a deep slump in May as Spain’s banks teetered near collapse, the S&P 500 lost 3.3 per cent for the quarter. But the S&P started the summer strong. It rose 4 per cent in June, its best month since February and its strongest June since 1999. For the year, the Dow is up 662.53 points, or 5.4 per cent. The Nasdaq composite index is up 12.7 per cent. For the day, the Dow closed up 277.83 points, or 2.2 per cent, at 12,880.09. The S&P 500 rose 33.12, or 2.5 per cent, to 1,362.16. The Nasdaq rose 85.56, or 3 per cent, to 2,935.05. Industrial and information technology stocks rose the most of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500. Those companies would benefit from faster growth and stronger demand from Europe, a key trading partner. RIM on the brink In corporate news, Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, plunged $1.92, or 20.3 per cent, to $7.54 after the company posted quarterly results that suggest it is crumbling faster than thought. RIM is cutting 5,000 jobs and unexpectedly delaying the launch of new phones deemed critical to its survival. The biggest gainer in the S&P was the alcoholic beverage giant, Constellation Brands. The stock jumped 24.4 per cent, or $5.30, to $27.06. Constellation is buying the 50 per cent of Crown Imports LLC that it doesn’t already own from Anheuser-Busch for $1.85 billion, giving it more US control over Corona beers and other breweries. Nike plunged $9.11, or 9.4 per cent, to $87.78, the biggest drop in the S&P 500. The world’s largest athletic shoe and clothing company said profit dropped 8 per cent last quarter on high product costs, a restructuring charge and an unexpected customs assessment.