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Stocks rise ahead of Fed chief Bernanke speech; Wall Street awaits signs of rate cut

Stocks rise ahead of Fed chief Bernanke speech; Wall Street awaits signs of rate cut

Stocks opened sharply higher Friday ahead of a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that Wall Street hopes will at least hint at a rate cut.
Bernanke begins speaking at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) at the central bank's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, before the long Labor Day weekend. Though many market watchers say it's unlikely Bernanke will make any big waves in his speech today, investors will be listening closely for clues about future Fed moves.
Since the stock market started tumbling in late July on fears that problems in mortgage and corporate lending would lead to a credit freeze and hurt the economy, the Fed has injected tens of billions of dollars into the banking system and lowered its discount rate _ the charge on its loans to commercial banks. But the Fed hasn't yet said it will lower the benchmark federal funds rate, and Wall Street's uncertainty over what the central bank will do next has kept the markets volatile.
In the first minutes of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average 115.19, or 0.87 percent, to 13,353.92.
Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.96, or 0.82 percent, to 1,469.60, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 31.32, or 1.22 percent, to 2,596.62.
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Updated : 2021-05-09 11:53 GMT+08:00