NEW YORK — The Dow Jones Industrial Average came within 100 points of its all-time high Wednesday after rising sharply for a second straight day.
The market surged following more evidence that the Fed will keep interest rates low, housing will keep recovering and shoppers aren't pulling back on spending, even with a payroll tax hike.
The gains were broad: Twenty-nine of 30 stocks in the Dow rose. All 10 industries in the Standard and Poor's 500 index climbed.
The Dow rose 175.24 points, or 1.2 percent, to 14,075.37. The index is now less than 100 points away from its record close of 14,164 reached in October 2007.
The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained 19.05 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,515.99. The Nasdaq composite rose 32.61 points, or 1.3 percent, to 3,162.26.
"The market psychology has clearly shifted. It's no longer sell the rally, it's buy the dips," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer of Palisade Capital Management.
"The economic data continues to be strong."
Earnings for S&P 500 companies will climb 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the third straight quarter of growth, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.
Investors were also encouraged Wednesday that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stood behind the central bank's low-interest-rate policies as he faced lawmakers for a second day.
His comments dissipated worries about the bank's resolve to keep up the program. Those worries sprung up last week when minutes from the bank's last policy meeting revealed disagreement among Fed officials.