Updated from 3:13 p.m. EDT

U.S. stocks ended Monday's session with impressive gains as credit markets continued to thaw and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke endorsed the idea of a new economic stimulus package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 413.21 points, or 4.7%, at 9265.43, and the S&P 500 added 44.85 points, or 4.8%, to 985.40. The Nasdaq climbed 58.74 points, or 3.4%, to 1770.03.

Testimony by Bernanke before the House Budget Committee in Washington offered a boost to the major indices. Bernanke said that calming the financial markets would not immediately resolve all the problems faced by the broader economy and voiced approval for a new economic stimulus package.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson also made an appearance to discuss details of his agency's bank recapitalization program, saying that there is enough funding available for all qualified banks to take part. He said that the capital infusion is ultimately unlikely to bring additional costs to taxpayers.

Governments overseas continued to offer aid to ailing financial institutions. On Sunday, the Dutch government said it would buy a $13.4 billion stake in ING Groep ( ING) to shore up the company's balance sheet, the Associated Press reported.

Credit markets continued to relax, as three-month dollar Libor, a measure of the rate banks charge one another for large loans, dropped 36 basis points to 4.06%. The overnight rate declined 16 basis points to 1.51%.

A downtrend in interbank lending rates remains intact, Tony Crescenzi, chief bond market strategist at Miller Tabak, wrote on his RealMoney.com blog. Tender offers by the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss National bank, which now provide an unlimited supply of dollars, has helped ease the market, he wrote. He also wrote that the Fed's plan to purchase commercial paper should provide additional support, as will money borrowed by the Treasury to provide banks with further capital.

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