Wall Street continues rally on Bernanke comments

Financial Crisis Posted on

Investors buoyed by comments on the economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent stocks mostly higher Monday. The Dow Jones industrials and Standard & Poor's index rose for a fifth straight day.

Bernanke said Sunday the recession would probably end this year if the government's program to boost the banking industry succeeds. But the Fed chairman also cautioned that the task of improving the banking system is a difficult one. During an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," Bernanke said the government needs to get banks to lend more freely and get the financial markets to work more normally.

David Hefty, chief executive of Cornerstone Wealth Management in Auburn, Indiana, said Bernanke's comments were a lift.

"Absolutely it's reassuring," Hefty said. "The American people look to these people for that hope."

But Hefty said Bernanke's caveat that the end of the recession is predicated on the success of the government support for struggling banks is still a major question facing the economy and markets.

Analysts said the market's latest advance supported the theory that stocks had found a bottom earlier this month.

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