NEW YORK (AP) — October is somewhat cursed for the stock market — the Crash of 1929, Black Monday in 1987, a slow-motion meltdown in 2008. This time, the demons made a last gasp, but Wall Street still managed to break the jinx.

Stocks had their best month in almost a decade, rising from their low point of the year in an almost uninterrupted four-week rally. The juice mostly came from Europe, which appeared to finally find a strategy for taming its debt crisis.

But the finish sure was ugly. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 276 points and finished below 12,000 on the final day of the month. It was as rough an end as it was a beginning: On the first trading day of the month, Oct. 3, the Dow lost 258.

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