Stocks powered through to a strong finish, and the S&P 500 finally managed to push past 1,850 en route to a record high after three days of trying and failing, as congressional testimony from Janet Yellen calmed early investor jitters brought on by geopolitical concerns.
Yellen said the Fed likely would continue tapering its asset purchases while tracking data to figure how much recent softness in the economy is due to the weather.
As in recent days, activity was driven in large part by short-term players waiting to see if the S&P could hold above 1,850 before buying or selling; when that level was pierced and held, what had been resistance became support.
Among S&P sectors, telecoms, techs and materials fared best with utilities and energy the weakest.
Treasury prices finished at their highs, with the benchmark 10-year yield down 3 bps at 2.646%.