NEW YORK - Stocks rose in early trading Tuesday as new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled the central bank would continue to dial back its stimulus program if the economy keeps improving.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose
55 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,856 as of 9:50 a.m. ET. The Standard &
Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,805 and the Nasdaq
composite rose 11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,159.
In her first public comments since
taking over the top Fed job last week, Yellen said in prepared remarks to
Congress Tuesday that she expects a "great deal of continuity" with
her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. She signaled that she supports his view that the
economy is strengthening enough to withstand a pullback in the Fed's stimulus,
but that rates should stay low to fuel further growth. Last week the Fed
announced it would reduce its bond purchases by $10 billion a month to $65 billion
Drugstore and pharmacy benefits
company CVS Caremark rose $1.69, or 3 percent, to $68.61 after the company
reported a 12 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings, beating analysts'
forecasts. CVS said last week it would stop selling tobacco products, which the
company expects will cost about $2 billion in sales and will cut its earnings
by 6 cents to 9 cents per share.
Barclays fell 79 cents, or 4 percent,
to $17.41 after the British bank, citing a slowdown in its investment banking division, said it would slash up to 12,000 employees.