U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as investors digested remarks from the top Federal Reserve official, having parsed through a series of corporate earnings and economic data.
The S&P 500 closed about 0.20 percent higher, with financials leading advancers. The Nasdaq composite outperformed, rising approximately 0.3 percent, as shares of Netflix rose in choppy trade. The video streaming giant is scheduled to report quarterly results Wednesday after the bell.
"Short-term overbought conditions continue to challenge the major U.S. equity indices, which have exhibited weak short-term momentum in recent weeks," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG. "The 20-day moving average has flattened for the [S&P 500], which last occurred in the beginning of September before a more significant pullback developed."
In prepared remarks, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. economy is closing in on the central bank's goals, giving it impetus to start reducing the extreme levels of support it has provided over the past decade. "Right now our foot is still pressing on the gas pedal, though, as I noted, we have eased back a bit," Yellen said.
Treasury yields extended gains after Yellen's speech was released, with the benchmark 10-year note yielding 2.42 percent.
Market participants have been largely focusing on President-elect Donald Trump's plans for fiscal stimulus, deregulation of certain sectors and tax reform. The broader U.S. indexes have risen to record highs since the election.