The market is up 9 points. The Dow Jones was up 74 at 16,273 — After some early weakness, the market continued to strengthen during the day, trading in a 120-point range. Janet Yellen gave testimony at a Senate committee hearing and said that harsh winter weather might have had an impact on recent economic data and reiterated her stance that accommodative monetary policy should remain appropriate for some time. She said the Fed would probably continue tapering while tracking data to see if recent soft data was weather related.
Economic data was mixed. Durable goods orders were better than expected but the weekly jobs numbers showed employment conditions remained challenging. The struggling retail sector was stronger, despite reporting lacklustre earnings — but obviously not as bad as expected. JC Penney rose over 25% after projected revenue margins increases and Sears Holdings rose 6.46% (even though it reported a loss), but Best Buy was down 0.97% after being up over 4% earlier in the day.