Wall Street Reacts Positively on Bernake’s Talk

Wall Street rallied on Friday as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy is indeed on the verge of recovery.

At an annual Fed conference in Wyoming, Bernanke said that the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.

A bigger-than-expected jump in home sales also gave stocks a boost. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that home sales rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million in July, from a pace of 4.89 million in June. It was the fourth straight monthly increase and the highest level of sales since August 2007. Economists had expected a rise of 2.2 percent.

Gap Inc. advanced after reporting second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates.

Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil led energy stocks higher, as crude oil rose above 74 U.S. dollars per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the first time this year.

The Dow Jones average rose 155.91, or 1.7 percent, to 9,505.96. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 18.76, or 1.9 percent, to 1, 026.13, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 31.68, or 1.6 percent, to 2,020.90.

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