Stocks Rally on Bernanke Speech

Stocks closed at multi-year highs on Monday, helped by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s remarks that the economy still needs help. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 160.90 points, or 1.23%, to 13,241.63. The S&P 500 rose 19.40 points, or 1.39%, to 1,416.51. The Nasdaq Composite gained 54.65 points, or 1.78%, to 3,122.57.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that improvement in the labor market might not be able to be sustained, comments that investors interpreted as an indication the central bank isn’t willing to exit its ultra-easy monetary policy.

Questions from Supreme Court justices on Monday indicated a likelihood that they will rule on the legality of landmark health-care legislation, rather than delaying it for at least another two years. The nine justices heard arguments that a law called the Anti-Injunction Act, from 1867, prevents any ruling on the legality of a tax until it has been applied.

A memoir being shopped by former Goldman Sachs derivatives director Greg Smith is regarded by some publishers as the next “Liar’s Poker” and may fetch well north of $1 million at auction, says someone involved in the process.
 
Crude-oil futures ended modestly higher Monday. Crude for May delivery rose 16 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $107.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Soybean futures soared to a six-month high on Monday as diminishing projections for the crop in Brazil, projected to be the top exporter of the oilseed, increased the need for ample U.S. supply.

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