A sign for Wall St. is shown outside the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, July 15, 2013 in New York. World stock markets wavered between gains and losses Wednesday July 17, 2013 as investors remained cautious ahead of testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Some soothing words from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pushed the stock market to slender gains on Wednesday. Higher earnings for several major companies also helped. Bernanke said that the U.S. central bank had no firm timetable for cutting back on its bond purchases. The Fed would consider reducing its stimulus program if the economy improves, but Bernanke emphasized in his testimony to Congress that the reductions were "by no means on a preset course." The central bank is currently buying $85 billion of bonds a month to keep interest rates low and encourage borrowing. Concerns that the Fed was poised to start easing back on that stimulus before the economy had recovered sufficiently caused the stock market to pull back in June.
"The market is responding well," to Bernanke's comments, said Phil Orlando, chief market strategist at Federated Investors.