US stocks : Dow up 0.9 pct
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke downplayed worries that the Fed has fueled asset bubbles that could hurt the economy in a private meeting with bond dealers and investors earlier this month, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Bernanke's view helped ease fears that the central bank may end its easy money policies. Minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting hit markets on Wednesday as investors interpreted divergent opinions on the benefit of stimulus as a sign the measures may be halted sooner than thought.
"They are in uncharted territory with divergent views," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago. "I could see some pretty heated opinions on what the ultimate outcome is, so I do believe there is dissension."
Hewlett-Packard Co shares jumped more than 12 percent and gave one of the biggest boosts to both the Dow and the S&P 500 after the personal computer maker's quarterly revenue and forecasts beat expectations. Hewlett-Packard's stock rose to $19.20 at the close, up 12.3 percent for the day.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 119.95 points, or 0.86 percent, to 14,000.57 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 13.18 points, or 0.88 percent, to 1,515.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 30.33 points, or 0.97 percent, to end at 3,161.82.
With Bernanke's reported comments much on their minds
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