Stock indexes on track for weekly gains
U.S. stocks extended gains Friday as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen gave a speech at Jackson Hole symposium, defending post-crisis banking regulations but offering no clues to the central bank's monetary policy path.
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The main indexes added to early gains despite Yellen avoiding remarks about current interest-rate policy.
Follow MarketWatch's Jackson Hole live blog:Yellen, Draghi on tap (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2017/08/25/jackson-hole-fed-conference-live-blog-yellen-draghi-on-tap/)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 87 points, or 0.4%, to 21,868 and was on track for a 0.8% weekly gain, after two weeks of declines.
The S&P 500 advanced by 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2,452, with all 11 main sectors trading higher. The benchmark index looked set to finish the week 0.9% higher.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 23 points, or 0.4%, to 6,294 and was on track to finish the week 1.2% higher. This would be the first weekly gain in five weeks.
Also:Fed watchers still fret about policy missteps as Jackson Hole gets under way (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-watchers-still-fret-about-policy-missteps-as-jackson-hole-gets-under-way-2017-08-24)
Jackson Hole powwow: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will also be closely followed for hints as to when and how the bank will begin to unwind its monetary easing.
"The ECB President has made a habit of going off script at Jackson Hole in the past, and whilst a report from Reuters last week stated insiders believed no major policy announcements were to be made, many are hoping he may let slip an implicit hint at the start date of the ECB's long-awaited [quantitative easing] taper," said Croft.
Draghi is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Read:Here's what investors will be watching when Draghi, Yellen speak at Jackson Hole (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-investors-will-be-watching-when-draghi-yellen-speak-at-jackson-hole-2017-08-22)
In an interview with the Financial Times (https://www.ft.com/content/0169006e-8946-11e7-bf50-e1c239b45787), Gary Cohn, the head of President Trump's National Economic Council, said that Trump will begin his push for tax reform, outlining his agenda in a speech next week.
Cohn also said that Congress "has to increase the debt ceiling" and that the U.S. "cannot be put in a position where we default."
Stocks in focus:Adamas Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ADMS) shares surged after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Thursday approved the company's Gocovri treatment of dyskinesia, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/adamas-pharma-shares-soar-on-parkinsons-dyskinesia-drug-approval-2017-08-24) or abnormal or involuntary movements associated with Parkinson's disease.
Ulta Beauty Inc.(ULTA) shares dropped after the retailer's results late Thursday showed second-quarter sales growth slowed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ulta-beauty-shares-fall-as-companys-sales-growth-slows-2017-08-24). Earnings were above Wall Street's expectations.
Shares of Dollar Tree Inc.(DLTR) rose after Raymond James upgraded the stock to strong buy from market perform and assigned it a stock price target of $95, or 21% above its current trading level.
Twitter Inc.(TWTR) shares were off slightly after Jefferies analyst Brent Thill downgraded the social-media company to hold from buy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-shares-fall-after-downgrade-facebook-is-clear-winner-analyst-says-2017-08-24) on Thursday.
Shares of Travelers Companies were nearly flat after a big drop on Thursday in response to news about Hurricane Harvey. The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Harvey will strengthen to Category 3 hurricane (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/life-threatening-hurricane-harvey-intensifies-to-category-2-as-it-heads-for-texas-2017-08-25) by the time it makes a landfall in Texas on Saturday.
There were small ripples in stock-index futures ahead of the opening bell following data on durable goods (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/orders-for-durable-goods-sink-68-in-july-the-most-in-nearly-three-years-2017-08-25)which fell by the largest amount in three years. A 6.8% drop in July was largely due to volatile aircraft sector, however. Excluding transports, orders rose modestly.
Other markets: The dollar slid against major rivals following Yellen's remarks. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index , a gauge of the greenback against six rivals, ell 0.4% to 92.93.
Oil prices were up 0.8% but still holding below $48 a barrel. Investors will watch for developments surrounding Hurricane Harvey, with Texas bracing for a potential category-three storm.
Read:Why Gulf of Mexico's Hurricane Harvey is bearish for oil (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-gulf-of-mexico-storm-harvey-is-bearish-for-oil-2017-08-24)
In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1.1%, and Japan's Nikkei tacked on 0.5%. European equities pushed modestly highly. Gold prices were largely unchanged at $1,292.60 an ounce.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 25, 2017 10:45 ET (14:45 GMT)