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Stocks gain on reassurance from a top Fed official

May. 22, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Reassuring comments from a Federal Reserve official and better earnings from two big retailers helped push the stock market higher Tuesday.

Stock indexes wobbled between gains and losses in early trading, then took a turn higher just before noon. That's when news crossed that James Bullard, head of the Fed's St. Louis branch, told an audience in Germany that the Fed ought to stick with its bond-buying effort to bolster the economic recovery.

"Those words were a salve for investors' nerves," said Lawrence Creatura, a fund manager at Federated Investors. Other Fed officials have recently talked about scaling back the program. "There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding this issue. And uncertainty and investors aren't always a happy match."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 52.30 points to 15,387.58, a gain of 0.3 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 2.87 points to 1,669.16, a slight increase of 0.2 percent. Both the Dow and the S&P are at record highs.

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