The S&P 500 hit a 7-month intraday high on Monday as investors digested comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who painted a mostly upbeat picture of the economy but gave little sense of when a rate hike may be coming.
Gains in oil and energy shares also boosted the market. The S&P energy index .SPNY was up 1.9 percent.
Yellen's remarks, likely her last public comments before a policy meeting next week, follow Friday's dismal monthly jobs report, which raised concerns over the ability of the economy to absorb a rate hike as early as June.
"I think she's still committed to rate hikes, but she is emphasizing there's not a timetable. She didn't say 'in the next few months,' which is dovish," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
At 3:06 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 131.35 points, or 0.74 percent, to 17,938.41, the S&P 500 .SPX had gained 12.55 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,111.68 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC had added 32.74 points, or 0.66 percent, to 4,975.25.
Yellen also called the jobs report "disappointing," but said "one should not attach too much significance to a single report."
AbbVie (ABBV.N) was down 3.2 percent at $62.93 after Cowen cut its rating on the stock to "market perform" from "outperform".
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,163 to 877, for a 2.47-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 2,092 issues rose and 751 fell for a 2.79-to-1 ratio favouring advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq recorded 87 new highs and 24 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Nick Zieminski)
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