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US stocks flat after Yellen speech

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

Stocks on Wall Street closed flat on Friday as investors digested a speech by US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

Ms Yellen signalled that the Fed was likely to raise rates in March, a move which markets have increasingly been expecting.

The Dow Jones closed up just 0.01%, or 2.74 points to 21,005.71.

The S&P 500 index inched up 1.20 points to 2,383.12, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 9.53 points to 5,870.75.

Ms Yellen told an audience in Chicago: ''Looking ahead, we continue to expect the evolution of the economy to warrant further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate.''

The New York indexes shrugged off the Federal Open Market Committee chair's commentary.

"At some point, maybe later in the year or next year, the market may not look at a rate hike as a positive thing," said Tom Cahill of Ventura Wealth Management.

"But right now, the market is willing to see this as an indication that economic growth is accelerating."

Meanwhile, shares in Snap, the owner of Snapchat, continued to climb after surging 40% on Thursday on its market debut. The social media company's shares closed up a further 10.66% to $27.09.