Stocks extended earlier gains with a late-session rally today as Ben Bernanke voiced support for a new fiscal stimulus package and a key indicator showed a loosening in the flow of credit, MarketWatch reports. The Dow rose 413.21 to 9,265.43, the first time it has closed over 9,000 in 4 days. The Nasdaq gained 58.74 to close at 1,770.03, and the S&P 500 climbed 44.85 to settle at 985.40.
Shares of energy firms enjoyed a rebound as oil futures rose $2.40 to $74.61. General Motors rose 1.2% as traders bet that the merger with Chrysler will proceed despite some reports citing trouble securing financing. The Libor, a measure of the cost of short-term loans, fell sharply, but it has yet to return to its level before Lehman Brothers collapsed, a threshold some analysts take as indicating a return to healthy credit markets.