Stocks rebound on dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. (Stan Honda / Getty Images )
Wall Street rebounded from last week’s declines after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will continue to keep interest rates low even as the economy shows signs of recovering.
Bernanke said during a speech that the Fed would support “continued accommodative policies” to help the economy grow more quickly. He hopes this stance will help create enough jobs to lower the unemployment rate even further.
The comments sent major U.S. stock indexes up more than 1% through much of the session. Stocks declined slightly last week, though it was the biggest weekly drop amid this year’s big rally.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 113.26, or 0.87%, to 13,193.99. Broader indexes were also up, with Standard & Poor’s 500 up 12.75, or 0.91%, at 1,309.84 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 36.71, or 1.19%, at 3,104.61.
Investors have been energized this year amid a stream of good economic news and have been especially buoyed by stronger readings on the nation’s employment rate. That’s provided a boost to the equities market, with the S&P 500 near its highest point since May 2008 and the Nasdaq rising for six straight weeks.
The comments from Bernanke helped assuage Wall Street after a pair of soft readings on the economy. Pending home sales fell slightly in February as investors were expecting a small gain. Meanwhile, separate data showed that Texas-area manufacturing expanded at a slower pace than expected in February.
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