Stocks Open Higher after Bernanke, Bank of America Profit Rises 70%

.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated the central bank’s plan to begin to scale back its bond-buying program later this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 13.05 points, or 0.08%, to 15,464.90. The S&P 500 index rose 3.71 points, or 0.22%, to 1,679.97. The Nasdaq Composite gained 6.36 points, or 0.18%, to 3,604.86.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank anticipates beginning tapering bond purchases later this year but that policy will remain accommodative and could change depending on the economic data.

Bank of America Corp posted a 70 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by higher stock trading revenue and lower expenses as Chief Executive Brian Moynihan’s efforts at a turnaround showed early signs of paying off. Retail brokerage and asset management income rose 38 percent, while trading income, excluding an accounting adjustment, jumped 57 percent, it said on Wednesday. Retail and small business banking income gained 15 percent.

Mattel (MAT) said Wednesday its second-quarter net income fell 24 percent, hurt by weak sales in North America and continued softness in Barbie sales, as well as an asset impairment charge. In the April-to-June quarter, Mattel’s net income dropped to $73.3 million, or 21 cents per share. That compares with $96.2 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang urged caution about rushing to change economic policy to try to revive the country’s sputtering growth, but he also signaled Beijing was prepared to take action if the economy slips too far.

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