Wall Street closes higher as Fed easing fears abate

Fears of Fed easing caused stocks to tumble in recent weeks. Now the easing fears are easing.

United States stocks closed higher for a third day as bond yields fell again on easing worries that the Federal Reserve will soon cut back its stimulus program.

Stocks opened higher, also helped by moderately positive economic data, and managed to extend gains as the session wore on.

They gained support from comments by New York Fed chief William Dudley stressing that the central bank will not shut down its $US85 billion ($A92 billion) a month asset-purchase program - aimed at holding interest rates down - "if labour market conditions and the economy's growth momentum were to be less favourable" than the Fed currently predicts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 114.35 points, or 0.77 per cent, to close at 15,024.49 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 closed up 9.94 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 1,613.20 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite increased 25.64 points, or 0.76 per cent, to close at 3,401.86 points.

The indexes extended two days of gains as the market bounces back from last week's steep declines.

Data releases suggested US economic growth remains at a moderate pace: consumer spending rebounded in May from April's fall, incomes were higher, inflation pressures remain low, new jobless claims were slightly improved, and pending home sales were strong.

"This morning's economic data are more supportive of the view that the Fed can hold off on tapering than not," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com.

Bond prices jumped for a second day. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.476 per cent from 2.54 per cent late Wednesday.