US STOCKS-Wall St climbs as Bernanke support firms

* Bernanke appears safe for approval again as Fed chief

* Homebuilders fall as December existing home sales slide

* Dow up 0.2 pct; S&P 500 up 0.5 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Jan 25 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) snapped a
three-day slide on Monday as signs that Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke would win a U.S. Senate vote for a second
term helped ease investors’ concerns.

With bellwether Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) set to post quarterly
results after the bell, investors bid up big-cap technology
shares, which tumbled on Friday as part of Wall Street’s worst
three-day slide in 10 months.

Apple shares rose 2.6 percent to $202.87.

U.S. lawmakers looked likely to approve Bernanke’s
nomination after the White House defended his record fighting
the financial crisis in an effort to rally votes. For details,
see [ID:nN25179778]

“(Bernanke) is clearly what prompted it,” said Stephen
Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco,
referring to the stock market’s recovery. “Coupled with the
fact we were 600 points down in a straight line, we were due
for a bounce.”

Massocca said private counts of Bernanke’s support showed
well more than a majority of senators would vote for
confirmation.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 23.88
points, or 0.23 percent, to 10,196.86. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) added 5.02 points, or 0.46 percent, to
1,096.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) rose 5.51 points,
or 0.25 percent, to 2,210.80.

IBM (IBM.N: ) climbed 0.5 percent to $126.12 while
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ) added 1.6 percent to $50.06 and were
among the top performers on the Dow. The PHLX Semiconductor
index (.SOXX: ) gained 1.4 percent.

Both the Dow and Nasdaq briefly turned negative after data
from the National Association of Realtors showed sales of
previously owned U.S. homes fell at a record pace in December,
highlighting the housing market’s reliance on government aid.
[ID:nN25221870]

Homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc (TOL.N: ) shed 0.7 percent to
$18.15.

Shares of natural resource companies also rebounded,
lifting the S&P materials index (.GSPM: ) up 0.8 percent. AK
Steel Holding Corp (AKS.N: ) jumped 5.4 percent to $21.27 after
the company posted a fourth-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) and forecast higher
prices as demand shows signs of growth. [ID:nN25180985]

Stock Market Advice

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Wall St climbs as Bernanke support firms