Bernanke’s bullishness boosts US

US stocks mostly rose in volatile trading yesterday, led by materials and financial shares, but investors shied away from big-cap technology shares on concerns about their European exposure.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 123.49 points, or 1.26 per cent, to 9,939.98. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 11.53 points, or 1.10 per cent, to 1,062.00. But the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 3.33 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,170.57.

Overnight, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the US economy seemed to have enough momentum to avoid a “double-dip” recession, giving support to domestic-oriented companies.

Banks amd telecommunications services ranked among the top performers. AT&T rose 2.7 per cent to $24.97. Bank of America rose 3.4 per cent to $15.33 and Procter & Gamble 2.5 per cent to $62.14.