Wall Street climbed higher after jawboning by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 161 points to 13,242. Mark Lasseigne has your daily stock market report in today's Acadiana Business Index.

Bernanke said that low interest rates are needed to boost the jobs market.

Soft readings on the economy did nothing to stop the rally. Pending home sales fell in February versus expectations for a modest gain. Separately, data showed that business conditions in Texas-area manufacturing are expanded at a slower pace than in February.

In corporate news, Lions Gate Entertainment climbed 4.5% after "The Hunger Games" grossed $155 million in North America over the weekend, enough to be the third-largest opening weekend ever.

Cal-Maine Foods fell 6.1% after the egg producers gross margins declined with rising feed costs.

Safeway was the biggest decliner on the S&P 500, down 3.4%, after an investment firm downgraded the stock.

Light sweet crude settled at $107.03 a barrel.

Gold closed at $1,686 an ounce.