US STOCKS-Wall St rebounds; Yellen eases concerns about economy

miércoles 10 de febrero de 2016 16:26 GYT

* Yellen sees no reason to reverse rate hike plan

* Disney's steep drop after results caps Dow's gains

* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 1.2 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Feb 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher on Wednesday afternoon after three straight sessions of losses as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen eased investor concerns about the U.S. economy's ability to absorb a gradual rise in interest rates.

But indexes were off their highs of the session, with both energy and materials sectors in negative territory. The Dow briefly traded lower.

Technology and healthcare shares that had sold off sharply in recent sessions led sector gains. The S&P technology index was up 0.9 percent while healthcare was up 1.5 percent. Shares of Microsoft were up 1.4 percent at $49.97.

Yellen acknowledged that tightening financial conditions and uncertainty about China posed risks to the U.S. economy, but told Congress she does not expect the central bank to reverse the rate hike program it began in December.

She emphasized a steady-as-she-goes account of Fed policy, with good reason to believe the U.S. economy will continue to grow and allow the Fed to pursue its plan of gradual rate hikes.   Continuación...