Stocks post third straight day of gains

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing broadly higher following signs that the European financial crisis may be contained.

European Union officials said Monday that the EU would take steps to prevent Greece's problems from affecting Ireland and Portugal.

Stocks gained as investors turned their attention back to the U.S. Health companies like Aetna and Humana rose nearly 1 percent, the largest gain among the 10 industry groups that make up the S&P 500 index.

The S&P index is closing up 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,278. The Dow Jones industrial average is up 76, or 0.6 percent, to 12,080. The Nasdaq composite is up 13, or 0.5 percent, to 2,630.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 3.1 billion shares.