Stocks climbed Thursday, adding to yesterday's gains, and the Dow reached its 24th record this year, as investors wait for the second-quarter earnings season to begin in earnest tomorrow.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 17 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,443 as of 10:13 a.m.
"Even so, the Committee continues to anticipate that the longer-run neutral level of the federal funds rate is likely to remain below levels that prevailed in previous decades", Yellen said.
Later in the day, the Fed released its Beige Book, which said economic activity expanded across all twelve Fed districts in June, with the pace of growth ranging from slight to moderate.
BONDS: Bond prices rose. The index reached its best closing level in nearly sixteen years.
HIGH FLYERS: Several airlines were trading higher after American Airlines Group and United Continental reported solid results for June.
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Significant strength was also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 2% advance by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.
The Dow Jones has been up 8% over the last six months, the best first-half performance since 2013.
With the continued decrease on the day, the ten-year yield pulled back further off the almost two-month closing high set last Friday. Energy stocks also posted big gains as the price of crude oil headed higher.
A strong tech sector lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) to higher ground.
"By holding rates lower, that means capital or investment remains somewhat cheaper for companies and the economy should be able to do well with rates perhaps not rising as much as some of us had feared", Haworth said.
Meanwhile, the major European markets moved sharply higher on the day. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index surged 19.25 points to 5,805.00. She is due to address a Senate committee on Thursday too but observers don't expect anything more dramatic to emerge.