Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

U.S. stocks open higher on Yellen comments, energy strength

U.S. stocks open higher on Yellen comments, energy strength

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 12 points, or 0.1%, to 21,496, while those for the S&P 500 index climbed 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,443.

The testimony boosted the Dow Jones by 0.6% to 21,532.14 - a record. The stock had traded more than 6 percent higher in the premarket. Among early movers, Target Corp. jumped after raising sales and profit outlooks for the second quarter. Big retail chains and other consumer-focused stocks were also among the gainers.

The S&P 500 healthcare index .SPXHC was up 0.09 percent, barely moving on news of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's unveiling of a revised healthcare bill.

FED TALK: Yellen's comments to Congress assuaged concerns among some traders that the Fed was raising interest rates too quickly in the face of stalling inflation and sluggish USA economic growth of just 1.4 percent in the first quarter.

THE QUOTE: "A coordinated jump for global equity markets following the considerably dovish tone from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's Congressional testimony sets Asian markets for gains today", Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. EBay gained 81 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $36.84. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat at 7,418.

TURBULENT QUARTER: Delta Air Lines was down 1.8 percent after the company reported a smaller profit and less revenue than analysts expected. South Korea's Kospi gained 1.2 percent to 2,419.18. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.01% to hold near two-year highs.

Over the last seven trading days, investors have more than doubled the amount of cash invested in a key financial sector fund, betting that second-quarter bank earnings will be strong.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 59 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $46.08 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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