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U.S. stocks close higher after Yellen comments

Trader Gordon Charlop works on the floor of

Trader Gordon Charlop works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, March 28, 2016. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks closed at their highest level of the year Tuesday as investors welcomed the latest signal from the Federal Reserve that it will move slowly to raise interest rates. Big names including Apple and Microsoft led technology stocks higher as the market made its biggest gain in two weeks.

Stocks rose after Yellen confirmed that the Fed isn’t in a hurry to raise interest rates. The Fed made similar points just two weeks ago, but since then, some members of the Fed’s decision making committee had said they thought it was time for rates to go higher. Yellen’s remarks boosted all corners of the market, and the price of gold rose along with stocks. Bond prices also rose and yields sank.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 97.72 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,633.11. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 17.96 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,055.01. Aided by the gains in tech stocks and in small cap stocks, the Nasdaq composite index climbed 79.84 points, or 1.7 percent, to 4,846.62.

Apple climbed $2.51, or 2.4 percent, to $107.70 after the FBI dropped its legal efforts to force Apple to break into an iPhone used by a terrorist involved in the attack in San Bernadino, California, in December. The FBI said it hacked into the phone, and asked a court to vacate an order forcing Apple to help.

— AP

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