Dow, S&P 500 Set New Closing Highs

U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 surged to all-time highs, in ┬áthe wake of Ben Bernanke’s latest remarks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 169.26 points, or 1.11%, to 15,460.92. The S&P 500 added 22.40 points, or 1.36%, to 1,675.02. The Nasdaq Composite rose 57.54 points, or 1.63% to 3,578.30.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke called for maintaining accommodation even as the minutes of policy makers’ June meeting showed them debating whether to stop bond buying by the Fed in 2013.

The U.S. government posted abudget surplus in June, the latest sign of rapidly improvingpublic finances that could reduce the urgency in Congress tostrike a deal to raise the nation’s limit on borrowing. Rising tax revenues, public spending cuts and big paymentsto the Treasury from state-backed mortgage firms helped thegovernment take in $117 billion more last month than it paidout, the U.S. Treasury said on Thursday.

A small bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced legislation that would break up Wall Street’s megabanks by separating traditional banking activity from riskier financial services. The bill, called the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, has an uncertain future, but it shows some lawmakers’ frustration that banks have only continued to grow since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

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