U.S. stocks increase on Yellen weather comments

The S&P 500 closed at a record on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said harsh weather seems to be to behind disappointing U.S. economic indicators this year.

Also on Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. durable goods orders decreased by a seasonally adjusted 1% last month, less than expectations for a 1.5% drop.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 74.24 points or 0.46%, and closed at 16,272.65. The S&P 500 added 9.13 points or 0.49%, and closed at 1,854.29, above its previous record closing high set on January 15th. The NASDAQ Composite Index added 26.869 points or 0.63%, and closed at 4,318.933.

The S&P retail index has increased 4.2% for the week.

Best Buy Co Inc. reported a better-than-expected profit on Thursday which resulted in the stock rising as high as $28.19 before closing at $25.57, down 1%.

Sears Holding Corp. reported a quarterly loss lower than a year-ago, boosting its stock up 6.5% to $43.01.

Among top Dow Jones Industrial Average performers were Verizon, up 2.51%, Goldman Sachs, up 1.48%, and Boeing, up 1.44%.

Among the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst performers were McDonald’s, down 0.86%, Nike, down 0.52%, and Caterpillar, down 0.51%.

At the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 0.28%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.01%, while Germany’s DAX 30 dropped 0.76%. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 closed up 0.16%.

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