In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose just 0.1%. Even so, the benchmark snapped an 11-week winning streak.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 closed dead flat at 5777, whilst the French CAC was also little changed. The German DAX added 0.3%.
Click to Receive FREE Daily Trading Recommendations!
Stateside, the Dow Jones put on 101 points (+0.8%) to settle at 13158, whilst the S&P 500 (+0.7%) and NASDAQ (+0.5%) enjoyed similar gains.
Stocks extended gains from the middle of the session, after The Wall Street Journal reported that Fed Chairman Bernanke defended actions the central bank has taken to support the economy in a letter to U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), chairman of the House oversight committee.
Mr. Bernanke also said in the letter that there is room for more action on the part of the Fed to shore up growth.
These latest developments continue the theme of the stock market getting tossed around by the Fed.
The session’s only major economic report was mixed. Orders for durable goods in July rose more than expected, amid a surge in demand for aircraft and autos.
After stripping out volatile transportation goods, orders fell, missing expectations.
Crude-oil futures fell 0.1% to settle at $96.15 a barrel, which helped to end a three-week winning streak, whilst bold added less than 0.1% to finish at $1,669.80 an ounce.
The US dollar gained against the euro and yen. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds rose slightly to 1.678%, as demand fell.
In company news, Billabong has reported an FY12 net loss of $275.6 million, a massive swing from the $119.1 million net profit it made in FY11.
There is no major local data due out for today’s session.