US stocks rose broadly yesterday, sending indexes to fresh 13-month closing highs, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reinforced expectations that interest rates would stay low to spur growth.<br /><br />Bernanke repeated that the Fed was likely to keep interest rates exceptionally low for &ldquo;an extended period,&rdquo; a pledge that weighed on the dollar and drove investors to snap up shares of natural resource companies as prices of global commodities &ndash; from gold to wheat &ndash; shot higher.<br /><br />In a speech before the Economic Club of New York, Bernanke said the recovery would not be as robust as previously hoped, and rising unemployment and tight bank lending were significant headwinds.<br /><br />The S&amp;P materials and energy indexes each climbed more than 2.3 per cent. Individual stock standouts included <strong>Exxon Mobil</strong>, up 2.7 per cent to $74.43 amid higher crude oil prices, and <strong>Caterpillar</strong> up 2.8 per cent.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average gained 136.49 points, or 1.33 per cent, to 10,406.96. The Standard &amp; Poor s 500 Index shot up 15.82 points, or 1.45 percent, to 1,109.30 &ndash; its first close above the psychologically important 1,100 level for the first time since October 2008. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 29.97 points, or 1.38 per cent, to 2,197.85. The benchmark S&amp;P 500 is now up 64 per cent since the 12-year closing low of 9 March.<br />