US STOCKS-Wall Street flat after Yellen remarks, J.C. Penney soars

jueves 27 de febrero de 2014 12:20 GYT

* Yellen says some data weak, weather impact uncertain

* Jobless claims up, durable goods top forecasts

* J.C. Penny, Best Buy rally after results

* Indexes: Dow and S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday as comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen failed to provide clarity on the impact of a harsh winter on recent economic weakness, while concerns rose over turmoil in Ukraine.

Addressing the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen said some economic data had been weaker since she spoke to the House of Representatives on Feb. 11, but that it was difficult to say how much of that was due to weather. Yellen also confirmed that the central bank would keep to its stimulus-trimming schedule.

The theory that some recent lackluster data was due to the weather rather than worsening fundamentals had helped investors shrug off the data and recently took the S&P 500 to a record high. However, the benchmark index has struggled to break decisively above its 2013 year-end closing level of 1,848.36, and trading could take a more pronounced turn to the downside on indications the economy is slowing.

In the latest economic report, orders for durable goods fell 1 percent in January, a drop that was less than forecast. However, jobless claims unexpectedly rose in the latest week.   Continuación...