Stocks advance as optimism continues into year-end (AP)

FILE - In this April 6, 2010 file photo, a bank clerk counts Chinese banknotes next to U.S. dollars on the counter at a bank in Hefei, in central China's Anhui province. From high-profile political feuds with Washington, Norway and the Vatican, to territorial tangles with Japan, a year of increasingly muscular Chinese foreign policy has severely tested Beijing's official policy of a 'peaceful rise' to global influence. (AP Photo/File)  CHINA OUTAP – Hopes that the world economy will enjoy stronger growth in 2011 continued to buoy stocks Wednesday though lackluster trading volumes in the traditionally quiet period between Christmas and the New Year kept the momentum in check.

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