The stock market got what it wanted - a pledge from Janet Yellen that the Fed's safety net remains in place - and racked up broad gains; the Dow briefly retook 16,000, the S&P capped a 3.6% gain over four days, and the Nasdaq turned positive for the year.
Today's rally was mostly because "Janet Yellen did nothing to spook the market, directly or inadvertently. In fact, she did quite the opposite," says Janney Montgomery Scott's chief investment strategist. "The market is relieved... that she's going to remain extremely accommodative."
Also providing a boost was news that House Republicans will advance a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling without additional measures attached.
Gold futures drew strength from Yellen's testimony, rising 1.2% and supporting gold miner stocks, as the miner ETF passed its 200-day MA for the first time in more than a year.
U.S. crude oil prices ticked below $100 a barrel for the first decline in six sessions.
Treasurys fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note rising 5 bps to 2.72%.