Stocks Edge Up after Bernanke Comments

U.S.stocks edged higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank’s bond purchases are not on a preset course and depend on economic and financial developments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.67 points, or 0.12%, to 15,470.52.The S&P 500 index gained 4.65 points, or 0.28%, to 1,680.91. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 11.50 points, or 0.32%, to 3,610.00.

A Federal Reserve survey says the U.S. economy grew in most parts of the country from late May through early July, bolstered by the housing recovery, consumers and more factory output.

U.S. federal prosecutors are considering a new strategy for criminally charging Wall Street bankers who packaged and sold bad mortgage loans at the height of the housing bubble, according to a federal official familiar with the investigation.

Intel Corp cut its full-year revenue forecast as the personal computer industry experiences slumping sales and a shift toward tablets and smartphones. It posted second-quarter revenue of $12.8 billion and said revenue in the current quarter would be $13.5 billion, give or take $500 million.

EBay Inc.(NASDAQ:EBAY) on Wednesday reported a second-quarter profit of $640 million, or 49 cents a share, on revenue of $3.9 billion. During the same period a year ago, eBay earned $692 million, or 53 cents a share, on $3.4 billion in sales.

IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM) on Wednesday reported a second-quarter profit of $3.23 billion, or $2.91 a share, compared with a profit of $3.88 billion, or $3.34 a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue slipped to $24.92 billion from $25.78 billion. The company updated its full-year earnings forecast, raising its adjusted profit estimate to at least $16.90 a share, excluding a $1 billion “workforce rebalancing charge.”

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