Dovish Yellen helps Dow rise - New York Report

US Stocks closed at new highs yesterday as investors reacted well to remarks from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and Greece won EU approval for its proposed budget reforms.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 92.35 points, 0.5 per cent, to 18,209.19, while the Standard & Poors 500 gained 5.82 points, 0.3 per cent, to 2,115.48, both eclipsing Friday’s record closes.

The Nasdaq Composite extended its gains to 10 straight sessions – its longest winning streak since July 2009. The Nasdaq finished up 7.15 points, 0.14 per cent, to 4,968.12, leaving the tech-heavy market barometer just 1.6 per cent below its 5,048.62 record close of March 2000.

Yellen, in her semi-annual testimony before the Senate banking committee, used a word familiar to investors when she reiterated that the central bank will be “patient” on raising interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. Traders took that as a sign that interest rates would remain unchanged until autumn.

She added that while the US economy has improved, she noted that overseas economies remain weak, inflation is still below the Fed’s two per cent target rate and wage growth remains tepid.

Retailer Home Depot rose four per cent to a record $116.75 close after posting an 18 per cent gain in quarterly profits and hiking its stock dividend 26 per cent.

Among other Dow 30 components, General Electric rose one per cent to $25.39 and JPMorgan rose 2.5 per cent to $60.82.

Internet college textbook retailer Chegg surged 27 per cent to $8.60 after reporting quarterly results that beat estimates.