NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks edged higher by mid-morning Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave testimony on Capitol Hill.
The S&P 500 was up 0.18%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.12%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.31%.
In prepared remarks released before her speech, Yellen said the central bank would likely raise interest rates in 2015 if the economy continues to recover at its current pace. Yellen also reiterated the Fed's upbeat outlook with the jobs market "trending in the right direction."
"If the economy evolves as we expect, economic conditions likely would make it appropriate at some point this year to raise the federal funds rate target," Yellen wrote in prepared comments presented to the House Financial Services Committee in her semiannual testimony Wednesday morning.
U.S. crude inventories saw a decline of 4.3 billion barrels for the week ended July 10, according to the Energy Information Administration. Analysts had expected a 1.8-million-barrel decline. Crude prices continued to fall despite the faster-than-expected drop. West Texas Intermediate was down 1.5% to $52.23 a barrel.
Industrial production in the U.S. rose 0.3% in June, higher than expectations of a 0.2% increase. Capacity utilization increased to 78.4% from 78.2%.
U.S. producer prices rose 0.4% in June, a touch higher than a 0.3% growth rate expected by economists. The reading was slightly slower than a 0.5% increase recorded in May. Excluding volatile items, core producer prices rose 0.3%.
Guess?(GES) - Get Report jumped 6.6% on news co-founder Paul Marciano was stepping down as CEO. Marciano has held the position, either as sole or co-CEO, since 1999. He will remain with the company as executive chairman and chief creative officer. The move was seen as a positive by analysts -- Jefferies reiterated a "hold" rating, Telsey Advisory Group upgraded to "market perform" and Wunderlick raised price targets.
LinkedIn (LNKD) added more than 3% after Barclays analysts upgraded the stock to "overweight" and increased price targets to $250 from $225. Barclays analyst Paul Vogel said shares could see an upside after the company reports its second quarter at the end of the month after expectations were reset with lowered guidance in April.
Bank of America(BAC) - Get Report jumped 3.1% after earnings of 45 cents a share beat analysts' estimates of 36 cents. The bank reported a 1.8% increase in revenue on growth in core loans and higher mortgage originations.
Yum! Brands(YUM) - Get Report shares were on watch after the restaurant chain owner reported its fourth consecutive quarter of shrinking sales. Earnings of 69 cents a share beat estimates by 7 cents, while revenue fell 3.1% to $3.11 billion. Same-store sales in China tumbled 10% in a continued fallout from a food scandal in the region last year.
Delta Air Lines(DAL) - Get Report fell more than 2% despite beating quarterly profit and revenue estimates. The airline reported earnings of $1.27 a share, 6 cents better than expected, while revenue climbed nearly 1% to $10.71 billion.
Celgene (CELG) - Get Report spiked 9.4% after the biopharmaceutical company agreed to acquire Receptos (RCPT) for $7.2B in cash, or $232 a share. The deal will strengthen Celgene's portfolio of inflammation and immunology treatments. Receptos shares added 10.2%.