A day after finishing at an all-time high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average did a repeat performance, advancing 54.59 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,876.22, with Home Depot pacing gains that included 23 of its 30 components. Shares of Cisco Systems were slammed, with the Dow components off nearly 11 percent after it forecast a steep drop in revenue.
"Yellen's comments would lead the market to have less expectations of a December taper, which seemed to be building for a while, so that is offsetting some of the negative fundamentals," said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, referring to the negative outlook from the network-equipment maker.
The S&P 500 also notched another record finish, up 8.62 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,790.62, with utilities the best performing and technology the sole sector declining among its 10 major industry groups.
One could argue that a correction is in order, given the market's record-breaking advance. "You could say we're overdue. But the opposite argument is it remains an extremely good environment for equities, with low inflation, high liquidity, low interest rates and an improving global economy to help earnings," said Stone.
The Nasdaq gained 9.57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,415.14.
For every stock falling, almost two gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where nearly 633 million shares traded. Composite volume topped 3.1 billion.