The Dow rose 53.58 points to close at 11,613.53 as a wild month for the financial markets ends quietly
Stock prices rose 20 points on the Dow and 3 points on the S&P. Stock prices moved up as the Federal Reserve released minutes showing it has discussed various options to boost the economy.
Standard & Poor's index recovers all its losses since stocks hit their 2011 low. Dow stocks within reach of break-even for the year.
Low rates are supposed to stimulate the housing market, but haven't done much so far. Low rates are hurting retirees, however.
The Dow ended 144 points higher, with gold taking a dive and government bond yields rising. The S&P 500 gained about 15 points, and the Nasdaq closed about 21 points up.
The Dow sank 60 points immediately following the earthquake that shook much of the East Coast, but it quickly bounced back, ending the day up 322 points. The Nasdaq closed 101 points higher, and the S&P 500 closed up 39 points.
European stocks shrug off local debt woes, while traders look forward to Bernanke speech. But European stocks are expected to remain volatile.
The Dow closed up 37 points, giving up 200 points of gains made in early trading. The S&P 500 rose less than a point, and the Nasdaq rose 4.
Stocks rise sharply after last week's 4 percent loss on the Dow. But traders caution that the bounce in stocks may not last.