Wall Street Ticks Higher Ahead of Yellen Testimony

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

Wall Street posted mild gains in stable trade Monday, a stark contrast to the wild sessions last week.

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Today's Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.7 points, or 0.05%, to 15802, the S&P 500 gained 2.8 points, or 0.15%, to 1800 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 22.3 points, or 0.54%, to 4148.

The broad S&P 500 snapped a three-week losing streak last week. The gains were driven by hopes the Federal Reserve might not pull back on its massive stimulus program quite as quick as economists expected. The hopes were bolstered after a much weaker-than-expected January jobs report.

Freshly-minted Fed chief Janet Yellen is set to speak before Congress later this week, in events that are expected to garner Wall Street's attention.

"Far and away the most important event of the week is Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony on monetary policy and the economy tomorrow in front of the House Financial Services Committee," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, wrote in an e-mail co clients. "The pace of QE 3/4 will be the main focus in addition to the unemployment rate side of ‘forward guidance.’"

Traders will also get the latest data on U.S. retail sales for the month of January. Analysts will be paying close attention to any clues on how badly tough weather conditions impacted consumer spending.

On the corporate front, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) global comparable-store sales rose 1.2% despite a drop in U.S. sales.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures rose 4 cents, or 0.04%, to $99.92 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.18%, to $2.744 a gallon. Gold rose $11.70, or 0.93%, to $1,274 a troy once.

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