Market Watch: Fed Chair’s comments welcomed on Wall Street

Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman, smiles as she finishes testifying at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. A Senate panel on Thursday advanced Yellen's nomination to lead the Federal Reserve, setting up a final vote in the full Senate after lawmakers return from a two-week Thanksgiving break. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Speaking to the Economic Club of New York today, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the U.S. central bank will “move cautiously with further rate hikes.” Her comments were well received by investors as the Dow and S&P hit new highs for 2016. Tech stocks led gainers as oil dropped $1.11 to close at $38.28 a barrel.

During her speech in NYC today Yellen said-

“It is appropriate to proceed with caution in moving policy, and that economic and financial conditions are somewhat less favorable than in December when the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in nine years. The major thing that changed since December and March that affects the baseline outlook is the slightly weaker-than-expected pace of global growth.  Progress has been made in inflation measures, but we see inflation remaining low this year and the prospect of down readings in concerning.”

Yellen’s appearance was the first since several Fed officials stated last week that the Fed should start moving faster to raise rates, even as early as this month.  Those comments came as a surprise and a sign of disagreement within Yellen’s views. Here speech today clarified her position.

Ian Lyngen, senior Treasury strategist at CRT Capital told CNBC-

“I think it’s less lashing back against the hawks and more offering her (Yellen’s) opinion. I don’t think that she’s overcompensating or swinging the pendulum. She just has a different opinion.”

Watch more highlights of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech to the Economic Club of NY below.

Here are the final numbers from Tuesday,  3/29/16 on Wall Street:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,639.76  (+104.37/ +.60 %)

NASDAQ: 4,846.62  (+79.84/ +1.67 %)

S&P 500: 2,055.01  (+17.96/ +0.88 %)