Economic Journal - Tuesday, 2/14/2017Submitted by Miller Financial Group, LLC on February 14th, 2017
US stocks paused Tuesday as investors geared up for Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s two-day congressional testimony. Yellen, speaking for the first time before the GOP led Senate Banking Committee, reiterated her view early Tuesday that the US economy is likely to continue its moderate pace of growth this year. Yellen said the Fed is prepared to raise interest rates at a ‘gradual’ pace and would continue to monitor incoming data while keeping an eye on the Fed’s target of 2% inflation. Her comments were not surprising and could be considered ‘in-line’ with market expectations - the net result being a flat market early in the session. In economic news, data is light today although a reading on January’s Producer Price Index (PPI) showed prices jumped 0.6% on the month, the largest rise since 2012, and perhaps an indication that inflation is trending higher. Earnings season is winding down although reports from Molson Coors Brewing and T-Mobile topped estimates Tuesday sending both stocks higher early in the session. Markets in Asia finished today’s session down slightly, while European stocks hovered near the unchanged line. Gold and oil prices are both up mildly while the 10 yr. treasury yield jumped to near 2.5% during Yellen’s testimony. The US dollar index also strengthened Tuesday.