After Market: A Flat Day as Investors Wait for Yellen to Speak


Investors took a wait-and-see approach Monday ahead of a big congressional hearing that starts on Tuesday. New Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday. She'll provide her view about the direction of the economy. She will also be asked about how quickly the Fed should proceed with its plan to reduce the amount of stimulus it provides. Although there's caution ahead of her testimony, most analyst say we shouldn't expect any dramatic changes from what Ben Bernanke offered.

In the meantime, we got a break from the wild swings in the market that we've been experiencing for the past few weeks. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) edged up by 7 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added nearly 3 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 22 points.

Apple (AAPL) gained nearly 2 percent as Carl Icahn withdrew his campaign to have the company massively increase its stock buyback. He did so after an influential advisory firm came against him. And GT Advanced Technology (GTAT) jumped 9 percent on reports that it has signed a supply deal with Apple.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Hasbro (HAS) gained 4.5 percent. Earnings edged lower, hurt by weak sales of boys' toys such as Transformers and GI Joe, but the company did issue an upbeat outlook. It was just over a week ago that Hasbro and fellow toy-maker Mattel (MAT) tumbled on Mattel's weak earnings report. Mattel edged lower Monday.

Elsewhere, Tesla (TSLA) gained 5 percent to an all-time high. China said it will pay a higher than expected subsidy for electric cars bought there.

Yelp (YELP) gained 2 percent on a partnership deal for Yahoo (YHOO) to carry some of Yelp's local reviews. Yahoo gained 1.5 percent.

Among the blue chips: Disney (DIS) rose 2 percent, while American Express (AXP), Travelers (TRV) and Coca-Cola (KO) all gained more than 1.5 percent.

On the downside, UnitedHealth (UNH) lost more than 2 percent and McDonald's (MCD) fell 1 percent. Domestic sales under the Golden Arches fell last month. The company blames the weather.

What to Watch Tuesday:

  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on monetary policy and the economy.

  • At 10 a.m. Eastern time, the Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for December, and the Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for December.

  • Senate Budget Committee hearing on the budget and the economic outlook.

  • Boeing (BA) and Airbus are expected to announce airplane orders at a major air show in Singapore.

These major companies are due to report quarterly financial results:

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

Originally published