Stocks were mixed Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that an interest rate hike could come soon.
The S&P 500 added 0.22%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.07%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.31%.
Yellen, in comments Thursday on Capitol Hill, reiterated that an interest rate hike could come "relatively soon," backing up recent hawkish comments from other Fed members. Yellen noted that the labor market continued to show strength and that the economy appeared to have recovered from a sluggish start to the year. Yellen also repeated the stance that the current state of the economy will likely "warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time" and noted that a delay could impact financial stability.
Yellen also said she did not foresee any reason why she would not complete her full term. Yellen's four-year term will end on Feb. 3, 2018. She also backed the Dodd-Frank regulations and cautioned against repealing them, noting that it is imperative to have safeguards that "result in a safer and sounder financial system."
The comments were made to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee on Thursday morning. The Fed chair last testified before that committee in December of last year, prior to the Fed's decision to hike interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
A December rate hike already had a high probability among Wall Street pundits with any doubt after Donald Trump's recent election as U.S. president quickly evaporating. The chances of a December rate hike currently sit at 90%, according to CME Group fed funds futures.