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Byline: Patrice Hill
Nov. 22--A drop in jobless claims to a four-month low provided evidence yesterday that the autumn economic lull may be ending, helping to spark a 222-point gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The 25,000 drop to 376,000 in first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week brought the four-week average under 400,000 for the first time since late summer, when signs of a slowdown started to emerge, according to the Labor Department.
Stocks rallied strongly, adding to previous gains that drove the Dow up more than 20 percent to 8,845 from four-year lows set last month. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 48 points to 1,468 and …