Stocks finished the day with big gains, after a coordinated move this morning by the world's central banks to lower the cost of borrowing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 490 points, its biggest advance since March of 2009.

Stock markets around the world today roared their approval of the joint action by the central banks of the world's wealthiest countries. In an effort to prevent a debt crisis in Europe from exploding into a global panic, the central banks of the U.S., Europe, Britain, Canada, Japan and Switzerland moved to shore-up the world financial system by making it easier for banks to borrow American dollars.

China, meanwhile, reduced the amount of money its banks are required to hold in reserve -- another effort to free up cash for lending.

But today's steps do little to solve the long-term debt problem in Europe, leaving markets still waiting for a permanent fix. European leaders gather next week for a summit.

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