News Column

U.S. stocks little moved Monday ahead of Yellen

February 11, 2014

U.S. Stocks moved slightly up in thin trade Monday, as investors look ahead to testimony from the Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen before the Congress. The Dow Jones industrial average was up slightly, and the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were both modestly higher. -The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.05% to 15801.79 -The S&P 500 gained 0.16% to 1799.84 -The NASDAQ Composite gained 0.54% to 4148.17 Investors may be reluctant to make any big moves before Tuesday`s Congressional testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. This will be Yellen`s first time testifying since taking control of the central bank this month. Investors will be watching to see if she sheds any light on plans to further taper, or slow down, the Fed`s stimulus program. Some investors believe that the Fed might have second thoughts about tapering, especially after the disappointing jobs report on Friday. There have been other signs of economic weakness as well. The Dow surged 160 points Friday as investors shrugged off the tepid jobs report and put their faith in the Fed. Corporate News Shares of Apple rose after hedge fund manager Carl Icahn dropped a potential proxy fight with the iPhone maker regarding its share repurchase program. Icahn has been pushing Apple to use its cash to buy back more of its own stock. But Icahn said in a letter to Apple shareholders Monday that he now sees no reason to pursue a fight with Apple in light of the company`s recent "opportunistic" and "aggressive" share purchases. Toy maker Hasbro missed on earnings expectations but the company increased its dividend. Shares rose in early trading. The reaction to Hasbro`s results was a big contrast to how investors treated rival Mattel after it reported weak holiday sales last month. Mattel plunged on that news. Yelp shares rose on reports the online review site will partner with Yahoo to incorporate reviews in Yahoo`s search engine`s results. Tesla shares rose to an all-time high after the Chinese government announced plans to extend subsides for electric cars. Investors are also gearing up for Tesla`s next earnings report later this month. Some traders say the stock will continue moving higher in the near term.

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Source: Financial Markets

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