NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are rising sharply on hopes that European leaders are moving closer to a plan to contain that region's debt crisis.
Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that her country would do whatever it could to help Greece regain investors' confidence. Merkel and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou are expected to discuss ways to solve the debt crisis later Tuesday.
Greece's finance minister also said that country would receive the next round of bailout loans in time to avoid a default.
Shortly before noon, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 248 points, or 2.3 percent, at 11,291. The Standard & Poor's 500 is up 26, or 2.3 percent, to 1,190. The Nasdaq composite is up 56, or 2.2 percent, at 2,572.