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Stocks jump as Bernanke says economy near recovery

NEW YORK — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has told investors what they want to hear: The economy is indeed on the verge of recovery.

And investors have responded Friday by enthusiastically buying stocks. Major stock indicators have all surged more than 1 percent and hit new highs for the year. And Treasury prices have tumbled and pushed yields sharply higher, as investors no longer felt they needed the safety of government debt.

Bernanke told a Fed conference, “the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.”

That sent the Dow Jones industrials soaring 155 points to 9,505. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up 18 at 1,026 and the Nasdaq composite index is up 31 at 2,020.

Advancing stocks are ahead of losers by 4 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.48 billion shares.