US STOCKS-Wall St set for strong open after Bernanke comments
* Costco June sales top expectations
* Initial claims rise more than expected
* Bernanke comments cool stimulus-slowing ideas
* Futures up: Dow 124 pts, S&P 15.8 pts, Nasdaq 26.50 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a strong open on Thursday, after comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the central bank was unlikely to scale back its stimulus measures earlier than expected.
Bernanke, at an economic conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Wednesday, said a highly accommodative monetary policy was needed for the foreseeable future, and that the U.S. unemployment rate of 7.6 percent overstated the health of the job market.
"His statement that they will be highly accommodative for the foreseeable future is pretty clear and the market loved it," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING U.S. Investment Management in New York.
"That statement was very clear and that is what the market is reacting to, because he is in charge." Continued...