Yellen tone suggests choppiness for markets ahead

A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock ExchangeU.S. stock investors have been enjoying an extended period of low volatility and steady gains, but with the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year and major indexes near records, the market could get a bit choppier in coming weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the U.S. central bank to raise rates in 2015, though the process was expected to be gradual, with the timing of the first hike dependent on the strength of economic data. Some weak reports have pushed back the expected lift-off, but Yellen's words suggest the Fed is still headed to rate increases later this year.



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Fed on track to hike rates as economic headwinds wane: Yellen

File photo of Federal Reserve Chair Yellen speaking at meeting of the FSOC at the Treasury Department in WashingtonWASHINGTON/PROVIDENCE (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the central bank to raise rates this year as the U.S. economy was on course to bounce back from a sluggish first quarter and as headwinds at home and abroad begin to wane. Yellen spoke amid growing concern at the Fed about possible market volatility once it begins to raise rates, and a desire to begin coaxing skeptical investors towards accepting the inevitable: ending about a roughly six-year stretch of near-zero interest rates. While saying that the outlook for the economy is always highly uncertain and citing persistently low inflation, Yellen said delaying a monetary policy tightening until employment and inflation hit the central bank's targets risked overheating the economy.



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