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Yellen's dovish comments move markets

U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen speaks to the Economic Club of New York in New York March 29, 2016.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Stocks rose and the dollar weakened Tuesday on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech to the Economic Club of New York. It was not only dovish, it was full of terms that suggest hesitancy, such as "slower," "weaker" and "cautiously."

"I consider it appropriate for the committee to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy," she said.

"Reflecting global economic and financial developments since December, however, the pace of rate increases is now expected to be somewhat slower," Yellen noted.

"[F]oreign economic growth now seems likely to be weaker this year than previously expected, and earnings expectations have declined," she said.

It wasn't all cautious. During the question and answer session, she highlighted that the U.S. economy has proven "remarkably resilient."

The rose nearly 10 points as her initial comments were released.

The weaker dollar briefly caused a rise in commodities and commodity stocks. Big oil names like ExxonMobil and Chevron, which had been weak all day on weak oil, came off their lows, but soon fell back. The same held true for materials names like Freeport McMoran .

While the broader market rose on her comments, bank stocks moved down as bond yields declined.