* Wall Street mostly rises, gains accelerate in late trading
* Yellen says U.S. economy still needs support
* Putin comments on Ukraine suggest easing tensions
* Gold prices decline, U.S. dollar index edges up
(Updates to close of U.S. trading)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 7 U.S. stocks mostly rose on
Wednesday, adding to their gains in late trading after Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated continued central bank
support for the U.S. economy, while stocks in other regions were
Many other markets closed before the acceleration in U.S.
gains. Equities were volatile throughout the day, with investors
parsing comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin
indicating a possible easing to the geopolitical concerns over
Ukraine that have weighed on markets.
Gold, viewed as a safe-haven asset, fell 1.4 percent, while
the U.S. dollar rose slightly against a basket of currencies,
though it remained near a six-month low.
Yellen said the U.S. economy was still in need of support
from the central bank given the "considerable slack" in the
labor market. She also cited the housing sector and geopolitical
tensions as issues of concern.
Putin said he was ready to discuss a way out of the
Ukrainian crisis and called on separatists in east Ukraine to
postpone a May 11 referendum on the status of the mostly
"We need confidence that the Russia situation remains
isolated; getting that would do a lot to stabilize the market.
Of course, anything that suggests more escalation is on the way
would be a real negative," said Eric Green, senior portfolio
manager at Penn Capital Management in Philadelphia.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 117.52
points, or 0.72 percent, at 16,518.54. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 10.49 points, or 0.56 percent, at 1,878.21.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 13.09 points, or
0.32 percent, at 4,067.67.
The Nasdaq was pressured by Whole Foods Market Inc,
which plummeted 19 percent to $38.93 on disappointing results,
and by Yahoo Inc, which lost 6.6 percent at $34.07. The
Dow gained on strength in UnitedHealth Group, which
added 3.5 percent following positive results from peer company
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up
1/32, the yield at 2.5896 percent. The U.S. dollar index
rose 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies. The euro
fell 0.1 percent against the dollar while the yen dipped
0.2 percent against the dollar.
European shares edged up 0.1 percent after trading
lower earlier in the session. The MSCI International ACWI Price
Index was flat.
Oil prices rose, underpinned by the tensions in Ukraine,
though Brent's premium over U.S. prices narrowed after an
industry report showed a sharp draw in inventories in the
world's largest oil consumer. U.S. crude futures rose 1.2
percent to $100.50 while Brent crude was up 1 percent.
(Editing by Dan Grebler)