Apple and banks propel Wall Street to record high

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Major U.S. stock indexes hit record highs on Tuesday, led by bank stocks after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said it would be unwise to wait too long to raise interest rates. Apple (AAPL. O) rose as much as 1.25 percent to an all-time high of $134.95, contributing to gains in the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite indexes. Yellen said delaying rate hikes could force the U.S. central bank to raise rates quicker down the line, which could risk a recession. She also expressed uncertainty over economic policy under the Trump administration. Banks, expected to gain from higher interest rates, led the market higher. Goldman Sachs (GS. N) rose 1.49 percent and Bank of America (BAC. N) added 2.97 percent. The S&P 500 financial index . SPSY rose 1.3 percent. President Donald Trump's pro-business stance sparked a record-setting rally in stocks following his November election. However, he has given scant detail on his policies, leaving the Fed with limited visibility about the economy's future direction. Speaking to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Yellen did not indicate whether the Fed still planned to raise rates three times this year, nor did she indicate whether a hike might come in March or in June, as most analysts expect.

"With the new president, there is still the uncertainty of the economic policy," said Jeff Carbone, co-founder of Cornerstone Financial Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina. "How much growth we get out of the market will affect policymaking and how quickly they need to react." At 2:04 p.m. (1904 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average . DJI was up 0.32 percent at 20,477.2, while the S&P 500 . SPX had gained 0.30 percent to 2,335.32, both reversing losses from earlier in the day. The Nasdaq Composite . IXIC added 0.26 percent to 5,778.93.

Yellen's comments lifted the dollar . DXY and U.S. Treasury yields US10YT=RR. Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the utilities . SPLRCU and real estate . SPLRCR sectors, which tend to fall when Treasury yields rise. General Motors (GM. N) added 4.64 percent after Peugeot owner PSA Group (PEUP. PA) said it is in talks to buy GM's European Opel business.

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