Stocks Regain Footing

U.S. stocks posted a modest rebound Wednesday, one day after their worst one-day drop in nearly four years.

Soothing comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke helped stocks find their footing, and a strong recovery in Shanghai stocks, where Tuesday’s selling began, also encouraged bargain hunters. The Dow and S&P recovered as much as a third of Tuesday’s 3.5% losses before paring their gains to end the day up about half a percent in heavy, volatile trade.

Fourth-quarter economic growth was revised lower from 3.5% to 2.2%, a move that was largely expected, and Midwest manufacturing and housing data also showed weakness.

Ciena gained on an upgrade by JP Morgan ahead of its results, while Dell slipped ahead of its earnings report due out Thursday night.

Sprint Nextel , Audible , Versant and Leap Wireless surged on their results.

Bitstream and Syniverse fell on their results.

The Nasdaq gained 8 to 2416, the S&P 500 rose 7 to 1406, and the Dow climbed 52 to 12,268. Volume declined to 3.93 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.72 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues led by a 20-12 margin on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 64% on the NYSE, and 64% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 85-33 on the NYSE, and 67-81 on the Nasdaq.

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