Despite taking a nosedive around noon, stocks managed to extend the week's rally and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up about 54 points, or 0.75 percent, at 7,224. Some of the Dow's most battered members posted the biggest gains: General Motors (GM) and Citigroup (C) both rose, capping weeks that saw both stocks surge 75 percent higher.

After GM, which rose 23 percent, Merck (MRK) was the best performer among the Dow's 30 stocks. The drug maker climbed 12.7 percent as investors embraced its acquisition earlier this week of rival Schering Plough (SGP). All told, the DJIA jumped 9 percent for the week, and broader markets enjoyed their best week since November, after four straight higher finishes.

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