US STOCKS-S&P 500 ends at record and up for 2014 after Yellen

jueves 27 de febrero de 2014 17:50 GYT

* Yellen: Weather likely to blame for economic weakness

* J.C. Penney, other retail shares rally after results

* Dow up 0.5 pct; S&P 500 up 0.5 pct; Nasdaq up 0.6 pct

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 closed at a record on Thursday and ended in positive territory for the year after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said harsh weather seems to be to behind recent U.S. economic softness.

That gave some relief to investors who supported the view that heavy snowstorms and unusually cold weather - and not worsening fundamentals - were to blame for weak U.S. employment, retail sales and other data.

The advance lifted the S&P 500 above its 2013 year-end closing level of 1,848.36, which has served as resistance in recent sessions.

"The market was worried. She could have excluded weather and perhaps talked more about the soft patch," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, which is based in Newark, New Jersey.

"I think she gave the market some comfort that she thought it was probably mostly due to weather-related issues."   Continuación...