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US exports, China lead stock surge

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are pushing higher for the second day in a row, helped by a trio of encouraging reports on the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 139 points to 12,944 shortly before noon Thursday. That's a gain of 1.1 percent. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) led the Dow higher after a study found that shipments of personal computers unexpectedly rose at the start of the year.

China, the world's second-largest economy, also showed signs of strength. U.S. exports rose to an all-time high as U.S. businesses sold more goods to Europe and China.

Interest rates on Italian government bonds sank after Italy pulled off a successful sale of bonds. The S&P 500 rose 14 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,382. The Nasdaq gained 36 points to 3,052, or 1.2 percent.