Major indexes had surged as much as 1.4 percent after Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke said the central bank would keep open the possibility of new stimulus measures. Bernanke said the Fed would only take action if economic conditions got much worse.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.1, or 0.3 percent, to close at 1,318. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45, or 0.4 percent, to 12,492. The Nasdaq composite rose 15, or 0.5 percent, to 2,797.
About two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was relatively light at 3.3 billion shares.