(Bloomberg) — U.S. stock-index futures were little changed after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said prospects are good for further labor market improvement, keeping the central bank on track for an interest rate increase in 2015.
Bank of America Corp. advanced 2.7 percent after its quarterly profit more than doubled as legal expenses declined. Celgene Corp. jumped 8 percent after raising its annual profit forecast, and agreeing to acquire Receptos Inc. for $7.2 billion. Receptos soared 11 percent. Delta Air Lines Inc. lost 2.5 percent amid a weaker outlook on a measure of revenue.
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index E-mini contracts expiring in September added less than 0.1 percent to 2,102.50 at 9:01 a.m. in New York, after the underlying index posted its longest winning streak since January. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 17,964.
“If the economy evolves as we expect, economic conditions likely would make it appropriate at some point this year to raise the federal funds rate target,” Yellen said in testimony prepared for delivery today before the House Financial Services Committee in Washington. Fed officials expect growth “to strengthen over the remainder of this year and the unemployment rate to decline gradually.”
While a strengthening U.S. economy and waning risks from Greece and China are keeping the Fed on track for a rate increase this year, policy makers have emphasized that the pace of subsequent increases would be gradual. The Fed is likely to make its first move in September, according to 76 percent of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg from July 2 to July 8.