US equities poised for third straight day of record closes

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Another grand slam?

The four main US equity indices were on track to close at new record highs for a third straight day on Tuesday.

US stocks began the day on the back foot as investors awaited Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s testimony before Congress. While Ms Yellen said that monetary policy is not on a “preset course” she did say that it would be “unwise” to delay tightening monetary policy for too long. However, investors appeared to take courage from her upbeat view on the US economy.

With thirty minutes of trading to go, the S&P 500 was up 0.3 per cent higher at 2,334.81, while the Dow Jones Indstrial Average added 0.3 per cent to 20,476.12. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2 per cent to 5,774.60.

The Russell 2000, which tracks small cap stocks, also rose 0.1 per cent to 1393.47, heading to a new high.

With the prospect of higher interest rates, financial stocks lead the benchmark S&P 500, adding 1.3 per cent. Meanwhile, rate sensitive utilities fell 0.8 per cent.

Likewise, the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was up 4 basis points to 2.47 per cent, after briefly inching above 2.5 per cent earlier. The dollar index — a measure of the US currency against a basket of peers — rallied 0.3 per cent to its highest level since late January.

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