Stocks Ended Mixed after Yellen Comments

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Wednesday, with Dow extended losing streak to a fourth session, after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the central bank expects a few rate hikes a year until end of 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 22.05 points, or 0.11%, to 19,804.72. The S&P 500 gained 4.00 points, or 0.18%, to 2,271.89. The Nasdaq Composite rose 16.93 points, or 0.31%, to 5,555.65.

In a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said she expects interest rates to rise a few times per year until the end of 2019. “Now it’s fair to say the economy is near maximum employment and inflation is moving toward our goal,” Yellen said after recalling the damage of the 2008 financial crisis.

Oil futures fell by nearly 3% on Wednesday as concerns about climbing U.S. shale production pushed prices to their lowest in about a week. February West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.40, or 2.7%, to settle at $51.08 a barrel. Brent crude fell $1.55, or 2.8%, to $53.92 a barrel.

Netflix posted subscriber numbers that crushed its own guidance. The company said it added 7.05 million subscribers during the quarter. For the quarter, Netflix added 1.93 million memberships in the U.S. and 5.12 million internationally.

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