Investment Commentary –February 14th, 2017

Market Indices as of Market Close February 14th, 2017
Dow 20,504 (3.75% YTD)
S&P 2,337 (4.38% YTD)
NASDAQ 5,782 (7.42% YTD)
Gold $1,229 (52 Week Low $1,127 High $1,387)
OIL $53.19 (52 Week Low $39.20 High $56.24)
US 10Y Treasury 2.39 (52 Week Low 1.32 High 2.64)

Stock market on track for 4th straight record close after Yellen testimony

U.S. stocks on Tuesday were on track for a fourth-straight record close after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled that the central bank could gradually raise interest rates sooner than later.

During Yellen’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, stocks flipped between small gains and losses but started carving out fresh intraday highs as the testimony wrapped up; adding to three straight days of record closes for the Dow industrials, S&P 500, and the NASDAQ.

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.40% were up 6 points, or 0.3%, at 2,334, with financials and health-care stocks leading the gains.

“It appears that she is priming the market to expect two or three rate hikes, which has been reflected in higher moves in financials and bond yields,” said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management.

The banking sector jumped after Yellen’s comments on interest rates, while rate-sensitive sectors such as utilities and real estate slumped.

THIS DAY IN FINANCIAL HISTORY: February 14th, 1903 Commerce and Labor Department Born
On this day in 1903 Congress approved the creation of the Department of Commerce and Labor. It was the idea of President Theodore Roosevelt and would be headed by the Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The main task of the department was to regulate the operations of large companies and monitor their trade practices.

On tap for the rest of the week:
Wednesday: Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifies before Congress, second day; Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; retail sales, business inventories, U.S. Census Bureau; industrial production and capacity utilization, U.S. Federal Reserve
Thursday: Housing starts, U.S. Census Bureau
Friday: The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S.

The views presented are not intended to be relied on as a forecast, research or investment advice and are the opinions of the sources cited and are subject to change based on subsequent developments. They are not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investments.