US STOCKS-Wall St climbs on Bernanke, S&P 500 passes record
* Dow, S&P 500 on pace for record closing highs
* Bernanke comments ease fears of stimulus cuts
* Advanced Micro Devices Inc jumps after upgrade
* Indexes up: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 1 pct, Nasdaq 1.2 pct
By Alison Griswold
NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday, with the S&P 500 index climbing above its all-time closing high, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reasserted that monetary policy will remain accommodative for some time.
More than 80 percent of shares on the New York Stock Exchange were higher on Thursday and all 10 S&P 500 industry sectors advanced, 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. "A highly accommodative policy is needed for the foreseeable future," he said.
"Rather than being hawkish, Bernanke is saying the right thing that the market wants to hear," said Yu-Dee Chang, chief trader of ACE Investments in McLean, Virginia. Continued...