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Record point gains on Wall Street

Refreshed after the holiday, traders return to Wall Street and start buying on two days of strongly rebounding global markets.

Stock traders returned refreshed to Wall Street after the Labor Day holiday to spark a rally that boosted the Dow 380 points today, a record-setting gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared nearly 5 percent to close at 8020.78, up 380.53 points. The Nasdaq index registered a larger percentage gain, up 6.02 percent, or 94.34 points, to 1660.85.

Today's spike beat the 337-point gain of October 28, 1997, the day after a then-unprecedented drop of 554 points.

While the U.S. markets were closed yesterday, most global markets surged and continued to rise today, bringing confidence to the recently battered Wall Street stocks. Investors were also encouraged after a Friday speech by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenpan, which hinted that the Fed might move be cut interest rates to help calm the global financial markets.

The rebounding markets are helping technology and Internet stocks across the board.

Web portals Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, and Infoseek are posting strong gains. Yahoo closed up 12.6 percent, Excite closed 14.49 percent higher, Lycos gained 7.99 percent, and Infoseek closed up 20.44percent.

Online book and music retailer Amazon.com closed up 7.25 percent.

The semiconductor sector is also surging upward, with Analog Devices closing 11.32 percent higher. Intel posted a gain of 4.67 percent gain, while LSI Logic closed 7.98 percent higher.

PC makers, which were also battered in the declines of the past few weeks, were also headed higher. Apple Computer closed up 8.9 percent, and Dell Computer gained 9.47 percent. Compaq Computer posted a 8.21 percent gain.

"The consensus is a rate hike for this year is ruled out and the possibility of a rate cut has increased now," said Peter Coolidge, senior equity trader at Brean Murray & Company. "That is giving the market a shot in the arm."

Reuters contributed to this report.