In­vestors await Yellen tes­ti­mony

A rebound in oil helps lift en­ergy stocks, while bank and phone stocks fall.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Alex Veiga

An­other day of list­less trad­ing on Wall Street ended Tues­day with the ma­jor stock in­dexes clos­ing out hav­ing shifted marginally from the day be­fore.

Gains in en­ergy and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies were can­celed out by losses among banks, phone com­pa­nies and other sec­tors.

A rebound in crude oil prices helped lift en­ergy stocks, which led the gain­ers. Banks posted the largest losses.

In­vestors were mak­ing mod­est moves ahead of Fed­eral Re­serve chair Janet Yellen’s tes­ti­mony be­fore Con­gress on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, and the re­lease of the Fed’s Beige Book, an eco­nomic snap­shot used by the cen­tral bank to gauge U.S. eco­nomic trends.

The mar­ket will key in on both as it tries to dis­cern how Fed pol­icy on in­ter­est rates may play out this year and next, said Sameer Samana, global quan­ti­ta­tive strate­gist for the Wells Fargo Investment In­sti­tute.

“Any time you have those types of po­ten­tially mar­ket-mov­ing events, es­pe­cially with pol­icy be­ing such a big fo­cus right now, peo­ple are al­ways a lit­tle hes­i­tant” to make big mar­ket moves, Samana said.

Be­yond the Fed, in­vestors were also look­ing ahead to the next cor- po­rate earn­ings re­port­ing sea­son, which ramps up this week.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex fell 1.90 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 2,425.53. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age gained 0.55 points to 21,409.07. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 16.91 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 6,193.30. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks added 4.58 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 1,413.05.Nine of the 11 in­dus­try groups in the S&P’s 500 in­dex de­clined. More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Ex­change.

En­ergy sec­tor com­pa­nies led the gain­ers Tues­day. Devon En­ergy rose 80 cents, or 2.7 per­cent, to $30.53. New­field Ex­plo­ration added 47 cents, or 1.8 per­cent, to $26.83.

The price of oil re­bounded af­ter dip­ping ear­lier in the day. Bench­mark U.S. crude picked up 64 cents, or 1.4 per­cent, to set­tle at $45.04 a bar­rel on the New York Mer­can­tile Ex­change. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, rose 64 cents, or 1.4 per­cent, to $47.52 a bar­rel in Lon­don.

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