On Monday, the S&P 500 rebounded from its worst week so far this year to retake a four-year high after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled that supportive monetary policy will continue even though the job picture has begun to improve.
The three major U.S.stock indexes climbed 1 percent or more and all ten sectors of S&P 500 advanced. Gains were spearheaded by S&P technology shares, S&P health care sector, and shares of International Business Machine.
"There is still a lot of cash on the sidelines looking for a pullback, and I suspect some people over the weekend said, 'Yeah, maybe I'll put some money in,' and then you get Ben Bernanke's comments and that stoked the fire," said Bob Doll, BlackRock's vice chairman and global chief investment officer in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 160.90 points, or 1.23 percent, to 13,241.63 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 19.40 points, or 1.39 percent, to 1,416.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 54.65 points, or 1.78 percent, to 3,122.57.
With just four days to go until the end of the quarter, the S&P financial index is up 23 percent.
"Further significant improvements in the unemployment rate will likely require a more rapid expansion of production and demand from consumers and businesses, a process that can be supported by continued accommodative policies," Bernanke told a gathering of the National Association for Business Economics.