A rally on Wall Street gained momentum late Wednesday as investors welcomed more upbeat housing data and a second day of dovish testimony from the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones industrial average rallied to a new 5-year high, gaining 193 points, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both up about 1.5%.
Traders said the rally was a continuation of Tuesday's advance, which came after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled to lawmakers that the central bank's easy money policies would remain in force. Bernanke reiterated his argument Wednesday that the Fed's bond-buying program has helped the economy.