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U.S stocks post solid gains

NEW YORK, Feb. 27 (UPI) — U.S. stock indexes rose Wednesday as investors considered Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s defense of the central bank’s monetary policies.

In testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Bernanke said the Fed would stick to its benchmarks for a policy change — unemployment at 6.5 percent or lower and inflation not more than 2 percent per year — although, he said, that could change as the economy picks up steam.

In early afternoon trading Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average added 128.25 points, or 0.92 percent, to 14,028.38. The Standard and Poor’s 500 added 14.51 points, or 0.97 percent, to 1,511.45. The Nasdaq composite added 30.38 points, or 0.97 percent, to 3,160.03.

Investors shrugged off a U.S. Commerce Department report that said new durable goods orders declined 5.2 percent in January, a sharper drop than expected.

The 10-year U.S. treasury rose 2/32 to yield 1.878 percent.

Against the dollar the euro rose to $1.3098 from Tuesday’s $1.3061. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 91.85 yen from 91.98 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.27 percent, 144.84 points, to 11,253.97.

In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.88 percent, 55.44 points, to 6,325.88.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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