US STOCKS-Wall St up as Bernanke support firms; Apple reports

* 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]
(Adds Apple, Texas Instruments results in paragraphs 2-4)

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.

After the closing bell, iPod maker Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: )
reported sharp gains in quarterly revenue and profit, sending
its shares 1.9 percent higher to $207.00 in after-hours
trading. The company also said it moved to adopt new accounting
standards for its iPhone. For details, see [ID:nN25217139].

“It looks like they are still picking up market share,”
said Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory
Services in Sacramento, California.

Chipmaker Texas Instruments posted its fourth-quarter
results and outlook for the first quarter after the close. Its
stock shed 1.2 percent to $23.40. [ID:nWNAB7954]

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.[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: ) gained 5.02 points, or 0.46 percent, to
1,096.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) gained 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 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]

On the New York Stock Exchange, about 1.05 billion shares
changed hands, below last year’s estimated daily average of
2.18 billion. On the Nasdaq, about 2.18 billion shares traded,
above last year’s daily average of 1.63 billion.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by
a ratio of 4 to 3, while the ratio on the Nasdaq was about
even.

Investment

(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Kenneth
Barry)

US STOCKS-Wall St up as Bernanke support firms; Apple reports