(By Balachander) U.S. stocks rebounded to close in green after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the central bank can do more to stimulate the economy.
S&P 500 Index added 0.64 percent to close at 1,411.12. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.77 percent to end at 13,157.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.54 percent to finish at 3,069.79.
"There is scope for further action by the Federal Reserve to ease financial conditions and strengthen the recovery," Bernanke wrote to California Republican Darrell Issa, who is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Many central-bank officials favored another round of stimulus, minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting released this week showed.
Investors also weighed a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, though no decision was made regarding an extension for Greece to implement austerity measures needed for the debt-laden country to receive bailout funds.
In other U.S. economic news, durable-goods orders for July rose for a third straight month, jumping 4.2 percent and also came in better than economists expectations of a 2.4 percent increase. New orders - excluding transportation - surprisingly fell 0.4 percent.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: LLY, ADSK, ARUN, WPI, QEP, MSG, SVU, SOL
In corporate news, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) rose 3.44 percent. The drugmaker said studies of its experimental Alzheimer's treatment showed a statistically significant slowing of cognitive decline in some patients, though the drug did not meet the primary objectives.
Autodesk Inc.(NASDAQ:ADSK) sank as much as 21.5 percent after the software provider issued a downbeat third-quarter view following weaker-than-expected second quarter results. The company also disclosed its restructuring plans, which include job cuts in the near-term.
Aruba Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN) surged as much as 19 percent after the provider of enterprise mobility services posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and revenue amid expansion of margins.
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE:WPI) gained 5.96 percent after the U.S. health regulators approved its generic equivalent of Endo Health Solutions Inc.'s (NASDAQ:ENDP) Lidoderm pain patch.
QEP Resources Inc. (NYSE:QEP) jumped 5.96 percent after the company agreed to acquire crude oil development properties in the Williston Basin for roughly $1.38 billion.
Madison Square Garden Co. (NASDAQ:MSG) gained 2.88 percent after the company reported quarterly earnings that more than tripled on higher revenue from its sports, media and entertainment units. Results came in ahead of Wall Street expectations.
SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE:SVU) added 10.85 percent. Bloomberg reported that the owner of supermarket chains is seeking bidders for the entire business.
ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE:SOL) tumbled 15.64 percent after the Chinese company posted a quarterly loss, wider than market expectations, as revenue declined amid fall in the average selling price (ASP) of solar wafers.
European markets closed on a slightly positive note, with Germany's DAX up 0.31 percent to close at 6,971.07. France's CAC40 rose 0.02 percent to finish at 3,433.21. U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended flat at 5,776.60.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index declined 0.99 percent to finish at 2,092.10. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.17 percent to end at 9,070.76. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index retreated 1.25 percent to end at 19,880.03. India's BSE Sensex closed at 17,783.21, down 0.38 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures dipped 0.34 percent to $95.94 per barrel and natural gas futures retreated 3.68 percent to $2.699 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures edged down 0.02 percent to $1,672.4 per ounce while silver futures gained 0.65 percent to $30.740 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro declined 0.42 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2511. The British pound slipped 0.35 percent against the greenback to 1.5804, while the dollar rose 0.25 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.6900.