Wall Street advanced in the past week as any remaining uncertainty faded over whether the Federal Reserve would pull the trigger on another rate hike come December.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tempered upward momentum in the past week after seeing its biggest gain in five years during the election week. The blue-chip index rose just 0.11% over the past five days, a fraction of the gains seen in the previous week.
The S&P 500 increased 0.81%. The Nasdaq was the best performer, climbing 1.6%, as tech stocks made a comeback.
The chances of a rate hike in December were reinforced on Thursday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers that an interest rate hike could come "relatively soon." 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.
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.