US STOCKS-Bernanke comments spur Wall Street to strong open

Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:07am EDT
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* Costco June sales top expectations

* Initial claims rise more than expected

* Bernanke comments cool stimulus-slowing ideas

* Indexes up: Dow 0.99 pct, S&P 1.1 pct, Nasdaq 1.13 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday, with each of the major indexes gaining 1 percent, 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...