Bernanke said the Fed would keep its accommodating monetary policy in place "for the foreseeable future," soothing fears the Fed was poised to reduce its quantitative easing program soon.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed to a record close at 15,460.92, gaining 169.26 points or 1.11 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 also reached a record close, ending the day at 1,675.02, up 22.40 points or 1.36 percent.
The Nasdaq index, near a 12-year high, closed at 3,578.30 on a gain of 57.55 points or 1.63 percent.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,712 stocks advanced and 413 declined on a volume of 3.4 billion shares traded.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.39 percent or 55.98 points to 14,472.58. In Britain, the FTSE 100 added 0.59 percent or 38.45 points to 6,543.41.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note rose 14/32 to yield 2.577 percent.
Gold added $36.40 or 2.92 percent to close at $1,283.80 per troy ounce. Silver jumped 4.88 percent to $20.10 per ounce, gaining 93.5 cents.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped $1.49 in after-hours trading to reach $104.13 per barrel.
The euro rose to $1.3093 against the dollar. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 99.06 yen.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn gained 4 1/2 cents to $5.26, November soybeans added 5 1/4 cents to $12.90 and September wheat added 3 3/4 cents to $6.82 3/4.
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