NEW YORK, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday following Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech.
All three major indexes rose for the August, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 90.13 points, or 0.69 percent, to 13,090. 84; the Standard & Poor's 500 up 7.10 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,406.58 and the Nasdaq Composite Index, up 18.25 points, or 0.60 percent, to 3,066.96.
For the month, the Dows rose 0.63 percent. The S&P 500 climbed 1.98 percent and the NASDAQ jumped 4.34 percent.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely known as the best gauge of market fears, closed below 18.
In his much-anticipated speech from Jackson Hole on Friday, the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did not hint much about further stimulus plans, reiterating only his opinion that the central bank was ready to act.
Stephen J. Guilfoyle, U.S. Economist of Meridian Equity Partners told Xinhua that Friday's rally was not only because of Jackson Hole meeting, but also because investors hoped that the European Central Bank will lay out a plan to buy the bond of troubled nations.
Therefore, investors were now looking ahead to the ECB meeting on next Thursday to see whether the ECB will push any purchasing plans to deal with the region's sovereign debt.
On the economic front, manufacturing activity in the Midwest was slightly lower than expected in August at 53.0, according to the Institute of Supply Management Chicago. The consensus was for the index to rise to 53.8 in August from 53.7 in July. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers showed final reading for consumer sentiment came in at 74.3 in August. The expectations was to remain at 73.6.
Meanwhile, factory orders rose more than expected in July, rising 2.8 percent, said the Commerce Department.
As for other markets, crude prices jumped after Bernanke said the central bank was ready to act to boost the economy.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery surged 1.85 dollars, or 1.96 percent to settle at 96.47 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It posted a fifth straight weekly gain of 32 cents, or 0.33 percent. In London, Brent crude for October delivery also rose sharply and last traded above 114 dollars a barrel, also heading to a weekly gain.
The U.S. dollar fell against most of major currencies in New York trading on Friday because Bernanke expressed concerns over U. S. unemployment, fueling expectations for easing measures. The dollar index dropped 0.497 to 81.216.