The S&P 500 index rose 2 percent briefly on Friday as investors were reassured by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on prospects for an economic recovery, with confidence also boosted by better-than-expected housing data.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 160.67 points, or 1.72 percent, at 9,510.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 19.41 points, or 1.93 percent, at 1,026.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed up 31.14 points, or 1.57 percent, at 2,020.36.

The S&P 500 is now up 51.8 percent from its 12-year closing low set on March 9.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)