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Stocks rise sharply, led by gains in technology

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Technology stocks took charge, driving the S&P and Dow to record highs. The industry surged after network company Adtran’s earnings came in at double what The Street expected. That boosted optimism that businesses will increase spending on tech equipment. Chip makers Micron and Intel also rose, as did network equipment makers including Cisco and JDS Uniphase. Investors are also seeing positive news in the minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting. They reveal that policy makers are becoming more confident the US economy can grow without the help of the bank’s stimulus program, said one market strategist.

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