U.S stocks rally as U.K. votes on Brexit

NEW YORK -- Stocks closed solidly higher on Wall Street, giving the market its biggest gain in a month, as hopes grow that Britons will vote to remain in the European Union.

"Early polls indicate the vote is going more in favor or 'Remain' than 'Exit,'" emailed Nick Raich, CEO at the Earnings Scout.

European markets and the British pound also rose Thursday as Britons went to the polls. U.S. government bond prices fell, sending yields higher. Gold fell.

Banks posted big gains. Citigroup (C) rose 4 percent and Bank of America (BAC) climbed 3 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average (I:DIA) rose 230 points, or 1.3 percent, to 18,011.

It was the Dow's first close above 18,000 in two weeks.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPX) gained 27 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,113. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) climbed 77 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,910.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.74 percent.