Stocks Closed Higher after Yellen Speech

U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, with energy leading as oil rose, after comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen remained positive on the economy while omitting a specific reference to the timing of a rate hike. The Dow industrials added 113.27 points, or 0.64%, to 17,920.33. The S&P 500 gained 10.28 points, or 0.49%, to 2,109.41. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 26.20 points, or 0.53%, to 4,968.71.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Monday said she expects the U.S. economy will continue to improve and expects further gradual increases in interest rates will “probably” be appropriate.

Oil futures settled on Monday at their highest level since July, with ongoing supply disruptions in Canada and Nigeria helping prices more than erase last week’s losses. July West Texas Intermediate crude added $1.07, or 2.2%, to settle at $49.69 a barrel. August Brent crude tacked on 91 cents, or 1.8%, to $50.55.

Best Buy Co Inc’s shares (BBY) fell as much as 5 percent on Monday after Chief Executive Hubert Joly cut his stake in the electronics retailer by about 44 percent, two weeks after the company gave a disappointing current-quarter profit forecast.

Devon Energy Corp., the energy producer that’s targeted $3 billion of asset sales to fund drilling and lower debt, agreed to sell fields in Texas and Oklahoma and a royalty interest in the northern Midland Basin for almost $1 billion to undisclosed buyers.

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