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Futures Edge Higher on Bernanke Comments
26 Mar 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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U.S. stock index futures gained Monday as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on the economy gave investors reason to believe interest rates will stay low and even showed signs that further quantitative easing from the central bank may be on the horizon.

Bernanke said the U.S. economy needs to grow more quickly if it is to produce enough jobs to bring down the unemployment rate further adding that the recent decline in the jobless rate to 8.3 percent in February was "somewhat out of sync" with the modest pace of economic growth.

"Further significant improvements in unemployment will likely require faster economic growth than we experienced during the past year,'' Bernanke told a gathering of the National Association for Business Economics.

Still, analysts seemed to be encouraged after Bernanke did not seem to rule out the possibility of further quantitiative easing.

However, others such as Art Hogan of Lazard Capital Markets were skeptical of QE3.

"I think we continue to grind higher and today’s going to be part of that," said Hogan. "I don’t think he’s opened any windows here—my guess is we’re not going to be talking about what he just said by 11 am."

Lions Gate Entertainment jumped after the move "The Hunger Games" opened with an impressive $155 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices, logging Hollywood's third-highest domestic film opening and easily beating expectations.

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