Stocks Climb on Bernanke, Economic Data

All three major U.S. stock indexes rose more than 1 percent on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke remained steadfast in his support of the Fed’s stimulus policy and data pointed to economic improvement.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 175.24 points, or 1.26%, to 14,075.37. The S&P 500 added 19.05 points, or 1.27%, to 1,515.99. The Nasdasq Composite gained 32.61 points, or 1.04%, to 3,162.26.

Democratic legislation in the Senate to replace $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts would result in very modest deficit savings through the end of the budget year, most if not of all of them through higher taxes on millionaires.

Groupon Inc lost a quarter of its market value on Wednesday after the largest daily deal company reported disappointing quarterly results and issued a weak forecast. Fourth-quarter revenue was $638.3 million, compared with $492.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company also reported a net loss and an operating loss in the latest period. The company said it expected first-quarter revenue to be between $560 million and $610 million.

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