(NEW YORK) — It was a roller coaster of a ride for stocks Friday. The markets opened lower, but turned around thanks to a letter from the head of the Fed.
The Dow Friday closed up 101 points at 13,157.97. The Nasdaq gained 16 points, closing at 3,069.79. The S&P closed at 141.13, adding nine points during the session.
Stocks began to rise after a letter surfaced from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, suggesting that there’s room for the central bank to do to more to help the economy, if necessary.
The economic recovery hasn’t felt much like one, even for people who managed to find new jobs after being laid off. The Labor Department says only 56 percent of Americans laid off from January 2009 through December 2011 found jobs by the start of this year, and more than half of them took jobs with lower pay. A third of those surveyed took pay cuts of 20 percent or more.
Meanwhile the government says it made almost $62.5 million on the sale of its stock in four small banks that were bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis. The profits will help offset losses in the broader financial bailout.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ahiza Garcia, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN Money