- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NEW YORK — Stocks are closing higher after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said central bank officials expect the economy to continue recovering this year as the jobs market strengthens.

The Fed expects the economy to grow between 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent this year. That’s below the Fed’s previous forecast in January, but the Fed also said it’s more optimistic about the unemployment rate going lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 96 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 12,691 Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 8, or 0.6 percent, at 1,356. The Nasdaq composite index is up 22, or 0.8 percent, at 2,870.

Three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was 4.2 billion shares.

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