(Bernanke speech article updated with additional commentary, quotes and stock prices.)
JACKSON HOLE, Wy. ( TheStreet) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that "for much of the world, the task of economic recovery and repair remains far from complete," but he expects the U.S. economy will continue to grow in the second half of this year and into 2011, "albeit at a relatively modest pace."
Speaking at the annual Federal Reserve symposium in Jackson Hole, Wy. Friday morning, Bernanke conceded that "in many countries, including the United States and most other advanced industrial nations, growth during the past year has been too slow and joblessness remains too high."
Wall Street reacted quickly. The major indexed dipped Friday morning just as Bernanke began his speech, but swiftly returned to positive territory, closing the day sharply higher. The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), an exchange-traded fund that tracks the broad-based S&P 500 index, rose 1.6% at the closing bell. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQQ) added 1.7% and 1.2%, respectively.
Bernanke indicated the Fed may implement large purchases of longer-term debts if needed to prevent the economy from falling further. "I believe that additional purchases of longer-term securities, should the
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