Wall Street starts new year with a surge

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Wall Street indexes started the new year with sharp gains on Monday, extending the late-2010 rally on optimistic signs about a global recovery.

The Nasdaq hit a 10-year high in intraday trading, driven largely by gains in Apple, which hit an all-time high of $330.20 and is up 56 percent since the end of 2009. The Nasdaq, however, is still half of the all-time high of 2000.

Shares got a lift from the “January effect” when fund managers are no longer engaged in year-end window dressing and focus on shares that they find attractive.

Bolstering the economic picture, data showed the American manufacturing sector grew for a 17th consecutive month in December, while construction spending increased again in November.

The global outlook also received a lift after data showed China’s factory inflation cooled in December, easing concerns the government would raise interest rates or take other steps to control growth.

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