Fed Chairman Bernanke's pledge that the Fed will do what it can to sustain U.S. economic recovery boosts stocks; Dow climbs 161, closes at 13,241

NEW YORK , March 26, 2012 () – Stocks are closing at multi-year highs, helped by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks that the economy still needs help.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 161 points to 13,241, its third-biggest gain of the year. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 19 points to 1,417, its highest close since May 2008.

The Nasdaq composite index, which has already rallied almost 20 percent this year, climbed 55 points to 3,123, its highest close since November 2000.

Rising stocks outpaced falling stocks by about 3-to-1. Volume was light at 3.4 billion shares.

Health care stocks gained the most of any industry group. The Supreme Court began hearing arguments Monday about President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul.

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