In a midday speech before the Economic Club of New York, Janet Yellen's comments included comments concerning weak growth abroad, low oil prices and uncertainty over China, saying that the Federal Reserve would proceed "cautiously" on further rate hikes this year.
At their March meet two weeks ago, the FOMC of the Fed lowered the number of expected rate hikes from four to two for 2016, and Yellen's speech today was the first public commentary form the Fed Chair since that time.
Other members had voiced opinions which could be considered mildly hawkish, but Yellen was decidedly dovish in today's prepared remarks.
Obviously, Wall Street was rather pleased with the Fed Chair's stock market elixir, sending the S&P 500 to its highest level of 2016. Stocks ended a five-week streak of positive gains with a lower close last week, but Yellen and her friends at the Fed apparently didn't want the market to turn down again.
With the kind of policy the Fed has been brandishing for the past seven years, stocks should be headed back toward all-time highs in due time, likely within the next few months. With the Dow running up a spectacular 2000 points in the last six-plus weeks, the DJIA stands just more than 700 points from the record set last year (May: 18,351.36).
The S&P needs to gain another 80 points to surpass the all-time high of last May (2134.72).
Party on, Janet!
S&P 500: 2,055.01, +17.96 (0.88%)
Dow: 17,633.11, +97.72 (0.56%)
NASDAQ: 4,846.62, +79.84 (1.67%)
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