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February 27, 2014 AT 2:59 PM
The S&P 500 closed at a record on Thursday and ended in positive territory for the year after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said harsh weather seems to be to behind recent U.S. economic softness. That gave some relief to investors who supported the view that heavy snowstorms and unusually cold weather - and not worsening fundamentals - were to blame for weak U.S. employment, retail sales and other data. The advance lifted the S&P 500 above its 2013 year-end closing level of 1,848.36, which has served as resistance in recent sessions. Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, which is based in Newark, New Jersey, "The market was worried. She could have excluded weather and perhaps talked more about the soft patch."