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Wall Street stocks soar

Market indices close higher, calmed by polls that show most Americans want the president to finish his term.

Wall Street stocks soared to close higher today, calmed by polls showing that Americans want President Clinton to finish his term despite his complicity in a sex scandal.

Stocks also were helped by Clinton's comments today in New York, in which the president urged strong measures by global economic powers to stem the rise of an economic crisis similar to those in Asia in Latin America.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed as much as 243.56 before closing up 149.85 points or 2.68 percent to reach 7,945.35. The Nasdaq also climbed higher, up 24.11 or 1.47 percent to reach 1,665.75.

Although the Dow's volatility continued last week, with a rise of more than 300 points on one day and several days of 100-plus point losses, the blue-chip index closed up 155.25 or 2 percent for the week. But most analysts expect the volatility to continue as the market tests whether it has hit bottom.

In a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton said he had asked Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to meet with economic ministers in other nations to plan a strategy aimed at meeting the financial challenges facing the global economy.

The market rallied Friday on the strength displayed by technology stocks and on a favorable inflation figure, which helped offset jitters about the possible impeachment of Clinton after independent prosecutor Ken Starr's report on the president was released on the Internet.

Although most Americans want the president to finish his term in office, more than half of those interviewed in polls conducted for CBS News, the CNN/USA Today/Gallup, and ABC News thought Clinton should be censured but not impeached.

Japan's Nikkei index rallied today after the country's ruling party proposed to take greater steps in reversing the declining banking system. The Nikkei rose 310.39 points, or 2.23 percent, to close at 14,227.37.