US STOCKS-Wall St flat as investors look ahead to Yellen

lunes 10 de febrero de 2014 15:12 GYT

* S&P 500 coming off best two-day gain in four months

* McDonald's falls after January same-store sales data

* Hasbro rallies after results, upbeat comments

* Indexes: Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as investors digested recent market gains and looked ahead to new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's first testimony before lawmakers.

Yellen's first test as chair of the Federal Reserve comes Tuesday when she faces U.S. lawmakers, some hostile to the central bank, who will want to know how committed she is to winding down the Fed's support for the economy.

The U.S. central bank's accommodative monetary policies have been credited with fueling the market's steep gains in 2013, and are expected to keep a floor under equity prices for as long as they continue.

The Fed first announced a slowing in the bond-buying program in December, followed by another one in January. If it changes the pace of tapering, it may raise concerns that the economy is still not strong enough to strengthen on its own. The January payroll report, released on Friday, raised concerns about the pace of growth when it came in sharply under expectations, though that was partly affected by bad weather.   Continuación...