Market Watch: When Yellen Talks…Wall Street Listens


On the final day of the trading week before the long, Memorial Day holiday weekend, most eyes were once again on Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Yellen participated in a “conversation” about interest rates at Harvard University with Gregory Mankiw, an economics professor. She was one of the featured speakers at Harvard’s Radcliffe Day, an event that also featured Yellen’s predecessor at the Fed and Harvard alumnus Ben Bernanke.

During her comments at Harvard, Yellen said that an interest rate hike in the next few months would probably be appropriate if economic data improves.

“It’s appropriate, and I’ve said this in the past, I think for the Fed to gradually and cautiously increase our overnight interest rate over time and probably in the coming months, such a move would be appropriate.”

Yellen’s comments had an immediate negative effect on the markets before they rebounded.  The S&P 500 posted its best week since March.

See more from Yellen’s comments at Harvard today.

The Radcliffe Medal is presented each year to an individual who has had a “transformative” impact on society.

Also today, the National Bureau of Statistics said that China reported a slowdown in industrial profits of 4.2% in April versus 11.1% over the same one year period last year.

Here are the final numbers from Friday, May 27th on Wall Street:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,873.22  (+44.93 / +0.25%)

NASDAQ: 4,933.50 (+31.74/ +0.65%)

S&P 500: 2,099.06  (+8.96/ +0.43%)