The S&P/ASX 200 index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has closed up 13.6 points, or 0.3%, despite many stocks going ex-dividend (market prices are adjusted to account for investors buying shares today, not receiving the most recent dividend), including BHP Billiton. Comments by US Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, (or Helicopter Ben) over the weekend suggests that further money printing in the US is highly likely and that has buoyed the market. Gold stocks in particular appear to have been pushed up, on expectations that further stimulus in the US will force the gold price to rise.

Of the top 10 highest rising stocks on the ASX 200, 8 of them were gold stocks. Of the top 50 stocks, these three posted the best gains.

Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) rose 2.6% to $9.44, recovering some of the losses it experienced at the end of last week. The stock appears to be at the mercy of short-term investors, with the share price yo-yoing between $9 and $11 in the last four weeks. Concerns about falling global demand for its products and two profit downgrades within two months has seen the stock fall from over $17 back in April.

Australia’s only listed investment bank, Macquarie Group Limited (ASX: MQG) also climbed 2.6% to $27.55. With no news released by the company, investors may be speculating that further US stimulus will kick-start capital markets activity, which is the lifeblood for many investment banks. Macquarie stated back in July that it expects to have a better 2012/13 financial year, provided markets pick up.

Computershare Limited’s (ASX: CPU) shares rose 2.4% to $8.60. CEO Stuart Crosby has told the ABC’s Inside Business program that its digital mailbox service can displace traditional paper bills and become a viable profit centre for the company. He added that if the service can achieve a critical mass, with large numbers of people who send bills, then it could be priced at a level significantly below traditional mail. The Digital Post Australia service is a joint venture between Computershare, Salmat Limited (ASX: SLM) and US company Zumbox.

The Foolish bottom line

All eyes will be in the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s board meeting, which will be released tomorrow. Economists almost unanimously predict that the RBA will continue sitting on its hands this month, although we all know what can happen with predictions!

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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