The stock markets in the United States rallied on the statement of Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen that policy makers could modify the central bank’s strategy in the event the outlook for economic growth deteriorates.

market news Morning News

Yellen said the Federal Reserve will continue tapering its monthly bond buying program, but she emphasized that the reduction is not a preset course. According to her, “adverse weather conditions” contributed to the recent weak economic data.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co commented, “Yellen said that they would consider pulling back on their tapering schedule if the economy slowed in a meaningful manner. She also said that the data had been weaker since she last spoke to Congress two weeks ago. So it’s a bit of a change. She seems to be more willing to step back on the accelerator than she was when she last spoke to Congress.”

Today, the Department of Commerce reported that durable goods orders declined 1% in January compared with a revised 5.3% drop in December. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Bloomberg was a 1.7% decline in durables goods orders.

A separate report from the Department of Labor indicated that the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits increased by 14,000 to 348,000 for the week ended February 22.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,272.33 (+0.46%)
  • S&P 500- 1,854.31 (+0.50%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,318.93 (+0.63%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,186.31 (+0.39%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,134.94 (-0.42%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,810.27 (+0.16%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,588.33 (-0.76%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,923.11 (-0.32%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,828.18 (+1.74%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,154.11 (-0.43%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) climbed more than 25% to $7.48 per share today after the company’s financial results showed improvement. The retailer posted $0.68 loss per share on $3.78 billion revenue in the fourth quarter, less than the $0.85 loss per share on $3.85 billion revenue consensus expectations of Wall Street analysts.

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) gained more than 6% to $42.94 per share after the company reported that its $0.96 adjusted loss per share for the fourth quarter is lower than the $1.60 loss per share expectations of analysts. The company also stated that its revenue from its Shop Your Way reward members is growing.

On the other hand, the stock price of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) declined more than 1% to $25.52 per share after reporting its financial results. The company posted adjusted earnings of $1.24 per share, higher than the $1.01 per share consensus estimate of Capital IQ. However, its $14.47 billion revenue was lower than $14.68 billion consensus estimate.