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New JC superintendent named December 19, 2014

Top Fed official optimism gives stocks a boost

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.

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.

Many investors were already looking ahead to Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its most recent policy meeting and Chairman Ben Bernanke will go before Congress to discuss his outlook for the U.S. economy.

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