12:50 PM New York Stocks on Wall Street traded higher after Fed Chair Janet Yellen offered an upbeat assessment of the job market and economic progress. On the earnings front, Home Depot reported better than expected earnings and Comcast struggled to lift subscriber growth.
Stocks in New York traded higher after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sounded cautiously optimistic and said economy is on a sounder footing but job market recovery is uneven.
Yellen also stressed that the central bank is patient when it comes to raising rates and job market is not fully healed.
On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index rose 0.1% or 10.72 to 10,674.36.
S&P 500 index rose 3.39 or 0.2% to 2,113.01 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 0.99 or 0.02% to 4,959.88.
Crude oil fell $1.35 a barrel to $48.46 and gold fell $5.90 to $1,199 an ounce.
) fell 28 cents to $168.52 after the diversified technology company announced that it agreed to acquire the assets of Polypore International Incs industrial filtration business for all-cash deal valued at $1 billion and remaining portion of Polypore acquired by Japan-based Asahi Kasei for about $2.2 billion.
Net income in the quarter jumped 7.5% to $48 million or 85 cents per diluted share compared to $44.7 million or 78 cents from the same quarter last year.
Home Depot Inc
) jumped 3.1% or $3.46 to $115.74 after the home improvement retailer said net sales in the fourth-quarter ending on February 1 climbed 8.3% to $19.16 billion from a year ago period. Comparable store sales in the quarter jumped 2%.
Net income in the quarter surged 36.1% to $1.38 billion or $1.05 per diluted share compared to $1.01 billion or 73 cents from the same quarter last year.
) declined 3.7% or $2.38 to $61.75 after the department store operator reported net sales in the fourth-quarter ending in January rose 1.7% to $9.36 billion from a year ago period. Comparable store sales in the quarter jumped 2%.
Net income in the quarter fell 2.2% to $793 million or $2.26 per diluted share compared to $811 million or $2.16 from the same quarter last year.
European markets traded higher after the euro zone finance ministers accepted the list of reforms presented by Greece to win third bailout after a contentious two month talks and public campaign.
In London trading, FTSE 100 index rose 0.1% or 9.01 to 6,921.17 and in Frankfurt the DAX index edged up 0.01% or 1.62 to 11,132.54.
In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.04% or 1.92 to 4,860.38.
Aer Lingus Group Plc
last month the airline company acquired by the parent of British Air, International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A, reported revenues in the year ending in December climbed 9.2% to 1.56 billion from 1.43 billion a year ago period.
Net in the year swung to a loss from a year ago to 95.8 million compared to profit of 34.1 million and diluted loss per share swung to 18 cents from earnings per share of 6.4 cents.
The company added passenger revenue in the year climbed 8.6% to 1.47 billion.
Aer Lingus gross cash increased by 38.1 million and gross debt decreased by 87.4 million.
Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG
jumped 3.3% to 4.92 after the Germany-based communication service provider stated revenues in the year ending in December soared 62.4% to 2.02 billion from 1.24 billion a year ago period.
Net in the year swung to a loss from a year ago to 642 million compared to profit of 79 million and diluted loss per share swung to 0.38 from earnings per share of 0.07.
The company said mobile service revenues in the quarter were flat at 1.39 billion from a year ago period.
Nikkei soared to a new 15-year high. Hitachi agreed with Italy-based conglomerate Finmeccanica to acquire its train and signal making units for $2 billion.
Asahi Kasei, the chemical and fiber maker plans to acquire the U.S. based Polypore International Inc''''s energy storage segment for $2.2 billion.
Market indexes in Tokyo continued to advance and the widely followed Nikkei index closed up to a new 15-year high.