US stocks edge mostly higher, extending a rally

By Steve Rothwell

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12 2014 8:54 a.m. MST

Gregory Rowe, center, places orders for stock with Anthony Rinaldi, right, at the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. U.S. stocks are edging higher in early trading as the market extends its longest winning streak of the year.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks edged mostly higher on Wednesday, extending the market's longest rally this year. Stocks jumped a day earlier after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she would continue the central bank's market-friendly, low-interest rate policies.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose one point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,821 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average was down six points, or less than 0.1 percent, at 15,988. The Nasdaq composite rose 12 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,203.

ONE TO WATCH: Fossil jumped $7.85, or 6.7 percent, to $124.81 after the watch and accessories company posted earnings that topped Wall Street expectations for the quarter and issued a strong financial outlook for the year.

HEALTHY PROFIT: DaVita HealthCare Partners jumped $3.80, or 5.9 percent, to $68.13, a day after the kidney dialysis provider said it reached an agreement to resolve a government investigation and reported fourth-quarter income that soared 36 percent and topped analyst expectations.

CHINA TRADE: The stock market also got some support from economic data out of China. Trade growth in the Chinese economy accelerated in January. Fears about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy roiled stock markets in January.

"It's reassuring that we're not seeing another sign of weakness for China's economic growth," said Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward Jones, an investment adviser.

THE RALLY: The stock market appears to have put its concerns about slowing growth in emerging markets behind it for now. The S&P 500 index has risen for four straight days.

TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.76 percent from 2.73 percent on Tuesday. Oil rose 94 cents, or 1 percent, to $100.92 a barrel. The price of gold rose $5.20, or 0.4 percent, to $1,295 an ounce.

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