Dow Jones Closes at Record High, Notches All-Time Intraday High

US stocks close higher on dovish Yellen, Dow ends at record

Australia, New Zealand shares climb after Yellen's rate remarks

"The evolution of the economy will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time to achieve and maintain maximum employment and stable prices", Yellen said.

Home Depot shares were among the biggest winners, rising 1.4%.

In prepared remarks before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged growing concerns over weak inflation.

The CBOE Volatility index.VIX closed at its lowest since December 1993.

The Dow rose to a record high close while USA stocks kept their upward momentum on Wednesday following Yellen's comments.

The Nasdaq is up 121.36 points, or 2 percent.

On the stocks, Delta shares were down 1.3 percent in premarket trading, after the No.2 USA airline's quarterly profit missed analysts' expectations.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.8 per cent, to 3,686.92 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent to 3,218.16 points. "Investors are definitely looking to see how those come out", Davidson said.

Banks and other financials stocks posted the largest gains.

Bank of America (BAC.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) all are due to report results next week.

The Russell 2000 is up 9.83 points, or 0.7 percent. The company has raised flags in Washington, with a Democratic lawmaker calling for a hearing on how Amazon's plans to buy Whole Foods Market Inc (WFM.O) will potentially impact consumers. That compares with the 6.7 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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