NEW YORK - U.S. stocks are closing higher after signals that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is open to taking more steps to help the economy.
Stocks opened lower, then moved up after The Wall Street Journal reported on a letter that Bernanke sent to U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, saying there was room for the Fed to take more action.
The Dow Jones industrial average is finishing up 101 points to 13,158, its first gain this week. The Standard & Poor's 500 is up nine to 1,411. The Nasdaq composite index is up 16 to 3,070.
Trading volume was light, at 2.6 billion shares, with many investors on vacation during the slow August month.
On the New York Stock Exchange, two stocks rose for every one that fell.