U.S. Stocks Advance


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U.S. stocks gained, snapping a three-day drop, as earnings topped estimates at Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the government will step up efforts to fight the recession.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.6 percent to 838.51. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 141.53 points, or 1.8 percent, to 8,078.36. The Russell 2000 Index increased 0.7 percent.