U.S. stocks rallied, almost wiping out this year’s decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid takeover deals, higher-than-estimated earnings at Caterpillar Inc. and progress in talks to tame Europe’s debt crisis. The S&P 500 increased 1.3 percent to 1,254.19 as of 4 p.m. New York time, paring its 2011 retreat to 0.3 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 104.83 points, or 0.9 percent, to 11,913.62 today. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2.4 percent, erasing its year-to-date decline.
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