February 23, 2018

USA stocks close higher on dovish Yellen, Dow ends at record

15 July 2017, 09:50 | Melvin Schneider

Dow hits another record as stocks close higher

US stocks close higher on dovish Yellen, Dow ends at record

Gains for big technology and health care companies drove the market higher.

Online payment company Paypal was among the winners, rising more than 3%, after it announced customers would be able to use PayPal on Apple products.

Bucking the trend, the utilities and consumer stocks saw small declines with entertainment firm Skycity Entertainment Group proving the biggest drag on the benchmark 0.7 percent lower.

Second quarter earnings are expected to increase 7.9 percent from a year ago, after first-quarter earnings posted their best performance since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The S&P 500 closed up 17.9 points, or 0.7%, to 2,443.5.

Chances of a rate hike in December fell to 47 percent after the release of data points, from 55 percent at Thursday's close.

Modest gains by technology companies and banks are leading USA stock indexes slightly higher in midday trading on Wall Street.

Stocks edged higher in range-bound trading, as the financial and tech sectors helped lift the Dow to another record close. Target jumped 4.1 percent after raising its second-quarter forecasts.

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But Yellen cautioned that boosting United States economic growth to the Trump administration's target of three percent would be "quite challenging", in part because of difficulty accelerating productivity growth.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index soared 0.01% to hold near 2-year highs.

Asian markets were mixed during Friday's trade after bond yields rose overnight and markets digested the second day of US Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen's testimony.

A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013.

The Russell 2000 is up 12.98 points, or 0.9 percent.

The Nasdaq composite rose 6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,267.

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