(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended higher, after volatile trading earlier in the day, as investors weighed congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and corporate earnings reports.
S&P 500 Index added 0.74 percent to close at 1,363.67. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.62 percent to end at 12,805.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.45 percent to finish at 2,910.04.
The Federal Reserve is prepared to take further action as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability, Bernanke told a congressional panel. However, Bernanke offered no specific details on the possibility for additional monetary stimulus, while saying the reduction in the unemployment rate seems likely to be "frustratingly slow."
Meanwhile, a data showed that core consumer price inflation rose 0.2 percent in June for the fourth straight month, in line with expectations. The headline index was little changed last month, versus expectations of a 0.1 percent drop.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: INTC, YHOO, STT, KO, MAT, JBHT, MOS, CMA, MFRM, DGIT
In corporate news, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) reported a fall in quarterly earnings as revenue trailed market expectations and expenses jumped. However, non-GAAP profit topped consensus. Shares added 1.50 percent in extended trading.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) inched higher in extended trading following its quarterly report. The Internet company, which named a former Google executive as CEO on Monday, posted earnings of 27 cents a share on flat revenue of $1.08 billion. Earnings exceeded Wall Street expectations, while revenue missed consensus.
State Street Corp. (NYSE:STT) retreated 6.37 percent after the Boston, Massachusetts-based bank reported lower second-quarter earnings amid a drop in foreign-exchange trading revenue. STT also agreed to acquire the hedge-fund administration business of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) for $550 million in cash.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) advanced 1.58 percent after the beverage giant posted a rise in quarterly earnings on continued strong volume and revenue growth.
Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) surged 9.70 percent after the El Segundo, California-based toy maker reported a surprise rise in quarterly earnings, as jump in gross margins offset flat sales.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) dropped 5.45 percent after the company's quarterly revenue trailed market expectations.
Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS) jumped 5.13 percent after the Plymouth, Minnesota-based provider of potash products doubled its annual dividend to $1.00 per share. The company also posted a 22 percent drop in quarterly earnings due to lower prices in phosphates.
Comerica Inc. (NYSE:CMA) added 3.83 percent after the Dallas, Texas-based bank posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by rise in net interest income.
Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:MFRM) tumbled 12.80 percent after the retailer of mattresses raised its earnings forecast, but cut same-store sales view.
Digital Generation Inc. (NASDAQ:DGIT) rallied 22.79 percent after the ad management company said it is exploring a strategic review, including a potential sale.
European markets ended on a mixed note, with Germany's DAX up 0.18 percent to close at 6,577.64. France's CAC40 edged 0.09 percent lower to finish at 3,176.97. U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.59 percent to end at 5,629.09.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.62 percent to close at 2,161.19. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.35 percent to end at 8,755.00. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 1.75 percent to end at 19,455.33. India's BSE Sensex finished at 17,105.30, up 0.01 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures rose 0.64 percent to $89.00 per barrel while natural gas futures lost 0.14 percent to $2.797 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures dipped 0.68 percent to $1,580.8 per ounce and silver futures fell 0.41 percent to $27.210 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.21 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2297. The British pound gained 0.13 percent against the greenback to 1.5656, while the dollar advanced 0.28 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.0800.