U.S. stocks bounced back strongly in a choppy trading Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended for the central bank's massive bond purchasing in testimony before Congress.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 115.96 points, or 0.84 percent, to 13,900.13. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index surged 9.09 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1,496.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 13.40 points, or 0.43 percent, to 3,129.65.
Wall Street moved higher after Bernanke said Tuesday in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee that Fed intended to keep its stimulus policies going until hiring improves significantly, giving no hint of whether the central bank may curtail the so-called quantitative easing before the end of this year.
Investors' mood also was bolstered by Bernanke's "not seeing much evidence of equity bubble", in the testimony.
The equity market was also boosted by upbeat economic data and earnings from leading U.S. corporations.
U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded in February after declining in January, according to a report released by the research institute Conference Board on Tuesday.
U.S. home prices rose in December to end 2012 higher, pointing to a sustained recovery of the world's largest economy, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday.
Sales of new single-family houses for the United States in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000, up 15.6 percent from the previous month, official data showed Tuesday.
Shares of Dow component Home Depot rallied 5.74 percent to 67. 59 U.S. stocks following strong quarterly results posted before the opening bell, pushing the Dow higher. The home improvement company beat market on earnings and revenue.
Shares of Macy's also gained 2.78 percent to 39.59 dollars as the giant department-store chain reported Tuesday better-than- expected earnings and issued profit guidance ahead of expectations.
In other corporate news, shares of JP Morgan lost 0.21 percent to 47.60 dollars as the biggest U.S. bank by assets is reportedly to lay off 19,000 employees in its mortgage and community banking businesses by the end of 2014.
The CBOE Volatility Index, broadly considered a gauge of fear in the market, sank 11.2 percent to close at 16.87 on Tuesday.
Tuesday's gains followed the biggest slump on Monday since last November for the Dow and the S&P 500 as uncertainties over the Italian election, which may disrupt the country's fiscal reform and reignite the eurozone debt crisis, weighed on the market.
The U.S. dollar traded mixed against major currencies on Tuesday. It continued strengthening versus the euro due to gridlock of Italy's parliament election and favorable U.S. economic data.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery lost 0.48 dollars, or 0. 52 percent, to settle at 92.63 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday, dampened by worries over the eurozone economy due to Italy's election.
Brent crude for April delivery fell 1.73 dollars, or 1.51 percent, to close at 112.71 dollars a barrel.
Gold future for April delivery on the COMEX of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday sharply rallied 28.9 dollars, or 1. 82 percent, to settle at 1,615.5 dollars per ounce.