Stocks were slightly higher on Wednesday and the Nasdaq briefly hit the 3,000 level for the first time since December 2000 as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke began testimony on monetary policy before the House Financial Services Committee.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 31.94 points, or 0.25 percent, to 13,037.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 3.66 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,375.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 8.36 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,995.12.

(Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)