LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:
On Friday, our business report focuses on your money. And we begin with the stock market.
Investors were breathing a bit easier yesterday following a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on energy prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished above 11,000 for the first time since it slipped below that level last week.
NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
JIM ZARROLI reporting:
Bernanke and other fed officials have been making some hawkish comments about inflation lately. That's left many investors worried about the prospect of further interest rate hikes. As a result, stock prices have been sliding.
But yesterday, the Fed Chairman told a Chicago audience that higher energy prices weren't yet being passed on to consumers, and that the economy, over time, would adjust to higher prices. Investors were already encouraged by some positive earnings news from Bear Stearns. The relatively benign tone of Bernanke's remarks was enough to encourage them further.
Together with gains on Wednesday, the DOW saw its best two-day period since April 2003. Prices rose despite some mixed economic news, including a weaker than expected report on industrial production in May.
Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.
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