NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The major indices rose for the third straight day Wednesday amidst calming earnings data, dovish comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, and a beige book that showed most Federal Reserve members see improving economic conditions and rebounding sales.
$Fed says economic growth 'increased in most regions' of U.S. $$-- StreetInsider (@Street_Insider) Apr. 16 at 02:00 PM
The Fed's beige book includes economic assessments from twelve regional Federal Reserve banks. Generally, Fed members said that consumer spending rebounded in March as the cold, snowy weather abated. The trucking and transportation industries improved and tourism activity picked up prior to April 7. Home prices, however, only rose modestly, despite low inventory.
Employment data had news suited to both economic bears and bulls. Most districts said hiring had improved -- though several characterized the improvement as tepid and confined to a handful of industries.
Beige Book: $Fed Says Labor Market conditions "Mixed But Generally Positive"-- lumberjax (@lumberjax) Apr. 16 at 02:01 PM
Yellen set the tone for the beige book release earlier today in a speech before the economic club of New York. Though the economic recovery has come a long way from the financial crisis, Yellen said a return to full employment was still likely two years off. In comments in the past 30 days, Yellen has made it clear that the Fed will keep benchmark interest rates low until employment recovers.
Yellen said that the Federal Open Market Committee sees "a gradual return over the next two to three years of the economic conditions consistent with its mandate." Some investors bet that the momentum built up over the last few days would continue over the weekend.
Have a feeling if bears cant use Yellen as an excuse to at least test yesterdays lows we might grind higher next few days $SPY-- Matthew Thury (@liquiditat) Apr. 16 at 02:04 PM
But others said investors would be too skittish about holding through the long weekend. Markets are closed this Friday for Good Friday, the Christian holy day before Easter Sunday.
Very little reason to stay long over the weekend with this Passover rally we've just had unless we retrace at least 1/2 of it $SPY-- SteveZ1 (@Stevez1) Apr. 16 at 02:07 PM
Sentiment on the ETFs that track the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq remained above 55% bearish. Sentiment was particularly negative on the S&P 500 where 72% of commenters on StockTwits.com called for losses.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.