US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs on Bernanke comments

Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:32am EDT
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* Dow, S&P 500 in line for record closing highs

* Bernanke comments ease fears of stimulus cuts

* Microsoft gains, reorganization expected

* Indexes up: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 1 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct

By Alison Griswold

NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday, putting the S&P 500 within range of an all-time closing high, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke once again said monetary policy will remain "accommodative" for some time.

More than 85 percent of shares on the New York Stock Exchange were higher on Thursday, led by gains in materials and technology shares.

Bernanke sparked a rally in equity futures Wednesday night after he said the U.S. unemployment rate of 7.6 percent overstated the health of the job market and noted inflation was still below the Fed's two percent target.

"His speech last night was much more dovish than most people anticipated," said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.   Continued...