NEW YORK Wall Street capped a volatile week with sharp gains Friday as oil retreated from this week's rally and after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said inflation pressures are likely to moderate. The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 200 points.
Speculation that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. could be sold helped buoy the financial sector and the overall market. Analysts warned this week that the investment bank could book large write-downs for bad debt. But reports Friday that Korea Development Bank is considering buying the company sent investors rushing for the stock. Lehman rose 69 cents, or 5 percent, to $14.41 but finished well off its highs of the session.
Investors also appeared cheered by an inflation forecast from Bernanke who said at the Kansas City Fed's annual economic symposium that inflation pressures should moderate this year amid tepid economic growth. But he also added that the inflation forecast remains "highly uncertain."
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 197.85, or 1.73 percent, to 11,628.06, near its highs of the session.
Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14.48, or 1.13 percent, to 1,292.20, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 34.33, or 1.44 percent, to 2,414.71.The run-up Friday left stocks with mostly modest losses for the week. The Dow is down 0.27 percent, the S&P 500 is off 0.46 percent and the technology-heavy Nasdaq is down 1.54 percent.