LIVE VIDEO: Live Newscast    Watch
 

Stocks climb higher as Fed's Janet Yellen testifies

1:00 PM, Feb 11, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
Janet Yellen smiles as she is introduced as being the first female to be nominated as Federal Reserve Board chair, prior to testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

 


 


(USA TODAY) -- U.S. stocks headed higher Tuesday as new Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen told Congress the Fed remains on track to reduce its economic stimulus in "measured steps," despite recent weakness in job growth and financial market turbulence in emerging markets.

In her prepared comments, Yellen delivered no surprises as it relates to the Fed's exit plan for its quantitative easing "tapering" plans. The Fed's first-ever woman chair emphasized a "great deal of continuity in the (Fed's) approach to monetary policy."

She also noted that the turbulence in developing markets "does not pose a substantial risk to the U.S. economic outlook," at least at this stage.

In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 120 points, or added 0.8%, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was 0.7% and Nasdaq composite climbed 0.6%.

Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays, viewed Yellen's words as a sign that Fed policy remains virtually unchanged under her leadership.

"The current policy framework will remain in place and any change in the Fed's future policy stance will be based on the data," Gapen told clients in a note.

The Fed had been buying $85 billion worth of bonds every month in an effort to stimulate the economy by pushing down commercial lending rates. February's purchases would be $65 billion if the Fed sticks to its plan to reduce the stimulus.

Appearing before a House committee, Yellen painted a picture of a slowly improving economy with room for progress. The Fed's stimulus pullback -- a policy endorsed by Yellen and her predecessor Ben Bernanke -- is dependent on continuing signs of a healthier economy.

"The recovery in the labor market is far from complete," Yellen said, an indication that the Fed is in no hurry to boost short-term rates.

Benchmark U.S. oil for March delivery was up 20 cents to $100.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 18 cents on Monday to close at $100.06.

Asian stocks traded higher on Tuesday. China's Shanghai Composite added 0.8%to 2,103.67 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.8% to 21,962.98.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.7% and Germany's DAX gained 1.3%.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You may also like... 

Arrrrrr! Pirates invade Tampa for Gasparilla

Treason? Secret Service visits candidate who says Obama should hang

Mystery House: Unsuspecting house holds a hidden secret

Abuse Arrest: Hog-hunting mom leaves kids in freezing car

Seeking Sasquatch: Bigfoot sightings abound in Colorado

Cyclist stuck in windshield: "Hi, I'm the guy you hit"

Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant

Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos