US stocks rally ahead of Yellen’s speech

New York, Dec 20 (IANS) US stocks traded higher in the morning session on Monday as investors awaited a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in the afternoon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.93 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 19,858.34, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 inched up 2.91 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 2,260.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 24.28 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 5,461.45.

Yellen is scheduled to speak on the job market at a University of Baltimore commencement.

This is the last of the Fed’s speeches before the Christmas break and will be followed for any additional guidance on monetary policy.

The Fed also released its updated economic projections, which indicated that the central bank forecasts three rate hikes next year, while in its September projections, Fed officials expected only two rate hikes in 2017.

On Friday, US stocks reversed early gains to end lower, as meditated on the country’s housing starts data.

–IANS

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