This article has been updated from 10:16 am to reflect midday market action.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The heated debate between inflation hawks and doves is about to amp up a couple of notches as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gets her own forum to broadcast her economic views on Friday.
U.S. stocks were gaining midday Thursday, with the S&P 500 hitting a new record as investors anticipate Yellen's speech on Friday at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The event kicks off on Thursday and ends on Saturday.
Markets have been rising since Wednesday, brushing off the central bank's release of what was thought by many to be a more-hawkish-than-expected set of July meeting minutes. Stocks have sustained the momentum of the past six days, mostly on expectations that Yellen will emphasize the importance of sticking to an accommodative interest rate policy. Economists expect that she'll say it's not necessary right now to expedite the reversal of monetary policy, as inflation appears to be easing and wage growth remains muted.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44% to 17,053.98. The S&P 500 advanced 0.26% to 1991.71. The Nasdaq gained 0.04% to 4528.38.
"The S&P 500 appears to be on a mission to eclipse the 2000 level before considering the consequences of an uncontrolled advance," says S&P Capital IQ's managing director of U.S. equity strategy, Sam Stovall.
A number of economic releases on Thursday morning could provide more color heading into Yellen's speech.