By Dow Jones Business News,
June 18, 2014, 04:44:00 PM EDT
MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Rally On Yellen Talk; S&P 500 Hits Record
By Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks rallied Wednesday, gaining the most in four weeks, after the Federal Reserve
chief signaled no hurry to raise rates.
The benchmark S&P 500 reached its 20th closing record of 2014 after four consecutive days of gains, rapidly picking up
steam as Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen spoke during a press conference following the Fed's policy statement. She was vague
about when the Federal Reserve could first hike rates, saying there could be "considerable time" between when the bond
taper ends and hikes begin. And she said the Fed was not concerned about the stock market's run to record highs.
The S&P 500 (SPX) added 14.99 points, or 0.8%, to 1,956.98, the largest one-day percentage gain in four weeks. It also
took out its June 9 intraday record, hitting a new high of 1,957.81.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 98.13 points, or 0.6%, to 16,906.62. It had been about 17 points lower
before the Federal Reserve's policy statement was released at 2 p.m. Eastern.
The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) ended the day up 25.60 points, or 0.6% at 4,362.84, its highest since April 2000.
Follow MarketWatch's live blog of today's stock-market action.
The Federal Open Market Committee's policy statement was nearly identical to the previous one issued in April. Only
its description of the economy was changed -- and in a way made it more upbeat. Stocks didn't move much after the
statement. But they started to rally during the press conference that followed.
Yellen, answering reporters' questions, said the Fed will look at a "wide range of indicators" on the labor market
before deciding to raise rates. Altogether, her comments contrasted with those in the March press conference, when she
said the Fed might start raising rates six months after the end of bond buys. Those comments triggered a selloff in
Read a recap of the live blog of Janet Yellen's press conference here.
"The Fed is not concerned with an uptick in inflation rate, because central banks know how to fight inflation, but
they do not know how to fight deflation," said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private
* In corporate news, Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos unveiled the company's first smartphone at an event
in Seattle. Amazon shares rose 2.7%.BlackBerry Ltd. shares rose 3% after the company announced a partnership with
Amazon on Wednesday. that would give the smartphone maker access to Amazon's Appstore. Shares of FedEx Corp. rose 6.2%
after the parcel-delivery company's quarterly earnings and sales topped analysts' expectations.Adobe Systems Inc. leapt
8.2% after the company late Tuesday reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings.But La-Z-Boy Inc. shares slid 8.1%
as the furniture maker's fourth quarter same-store sales fell 0.9%, compared with a 11.2% rise in the fourth quarter of
last year.ConAgra Foods Inc. shares declined 7.3% after the packaged-food company said fiscal fourth-quarter earnings
will miss expectations, as volume in its consumer foods segment declined 7% and its private brands unit posted weak
* In overseas markets, Japanese stocks rose, outperforming other benchmarks throughout the region. European stocks
closed lower, but U.K. stocks outperformed.
* Among commodities, gold for August delivery ended higher and gained more after the Fed statement. Crude oil
futures slipped 39 cents to settle at $105.97 a barrel.
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