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US stocks cap best weekly performance of the year

US shares rose on speculation Spain will request a bailout for its stricken banking sector this weekend.

US stocks close higher Enlarge
US stocks rose on speculation that Europe would rescue Spain's banking system. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)

US stocks closed higher today, posting their best weekly performance of the year, amid speculation Spain will request a bailout for its stricken banking sector this weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,554.20 for a weekly gain of 3.6 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index advanced 3.7 percent over the week to close at 1,325.66, according to Reuters.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the week at 2,858.42, up about four percent over the week.

European leaders are expected to hold talks on Saturday morning about potential financial aid for Spain’s debt-laden banking system.

Bloomberg noted that Spain would be the fourth of the 17-euro zone countries to receive emergency assistance. A spokeswoman for the Spanish government denied the country would seek help tomorrow, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More from GlobalPost: Spain faces increasing pressure to accept a bailout

"There's more of a conviction that something is going to happen with Spanish banks that's going to be positive,” Walter Hellwig of BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

“Anything that could address the situation in a favorable way could have a positive impact."

Earlier today US President Barack Obama said European leaders faced an “urgent need to act” to resolve the worsening crisis and prevent the region from sliding into recession, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The leaders understand the seriousness of the situation and the urgent need to act," Obama told a press conference at the White House. "The decisions required are tough but Europe has the capacity to make them."

More from GlobalPost: Obama addresses economy, European crisis

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120608/us-stocks-cap-best-weekly-performance-the-year