US stocks moved higher Tuesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reaffirmed the need for continued economic stimulus in testimony to Congress.
The markets were also buoyed by upbeat earnings results, including from home-improvement retailer Home Depot.
About 75 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 67.11 points (0.49 percent) at 13,851.28.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.01 points (0.14 percent) to 1,489.86, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.92 (0.03 percent) to 3,117,18.
After opening higher, stock gains partially offset deep losses sustained Monday in the wake of the uncertain outcome of Italian elections.
In his twice-annual testimony to Congress, Bernanke was expected to defend the Fed's plans for continued stimulus in light of Federal Reserve meeting minutes that suggested debate on the issue.
"The presumption ahead of (Bernanke's) testimony is that he will walk a dovish line that is supportive for equity prices," wrote Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.
Bernanke's prepared testimony acknowledged the risks of continued economic stimulus. But Bernanke said the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed policy board, "remains confident that it has the tools necessary to tighten monetary policy when the time comes to do so."
Dow member Home Depot surged 5.8 percent after reporting better-than-expected earnings and announcing a $17 billion share repurchase program and a 34 percent hike in its quarterly dividend.
Department store giant Macy's rose 1.9 percent after besting analyst expectations and announcing solid 2013 earnings guidance.
High-end retail chain Saks Inc. slid 0.2 percent despite reporting earnings that were slightly better than expectations.
Banking giant JPMorgan Chase gave up 1.3 percent after announcing up to 19,000 job cuts by end-2014.
Drug manufacturer Vivus slumped 9.5 percent after reporting deeper losses in the most recent quarter compared with a year ago.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year bond fell to 1.87 percent from 1.90 percent late Monday, while the 30-year fell to 3.06 percent from 3.09 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.