U.S. stocks soared Thursday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 crossing above their record closing highs, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stressed during a speech Wednesday that monetary policy would remain accommodative for the foreseeable future.

Doreen Mogavero, president and CEO of Mogavero Lee & Co., discusses how federal budget cuts from the sequestration and tax hikes are affecting the labor force participation rate, small businesses and baby boomers.

Bernanke’s comments came after the release of the Fed's minutes from its latest policy meeting, which showed that officials want further reassurances about the strength of the job market before pulling back on stimulus measures.

As of 2:20 p.m. Eastern, the Dow Jones industrial average (.DJIA) gained 143.84 points, or 0.94 percent, to 15,435.50. The S&P 500 Index (.SPX) was up 18.70 points, or 1.13 percent, to 1,671.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 48.94 points, or 1.39 percent, to 3,569.70.