US STOCKS-Dow, S&P end at record highs in rally led by Macy's

Reuters

* Macy's sales rise more than expected; shares jump

* U.S. stock futures rise on release of Fed chief nomineeYellen's remarks

* Investors await Yellen's confirmation hearing on Thursday

* Dow up 0.5 pct; S&P 500 up 0.8 pct; Nasdaq up 1.2 pct

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 endedat record highs on Wednesday, driven by gains in consumerdiscretionary shares after results from Macy's eased someworries about the holiday season.

U.S. stock index futures edged up after the bell followingthe release of Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen'sintroductory remarks, ahead of her confirmation hearing onThursday to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. She will appearbefore the Senate Banking Committee.

Throughout the afternoon, the stock market drew strengthfrom investors' anticipation that Yellen's prepared remarkswould be released after the close.

Shares of Macy's Inc shot up 9.4 percent to $50.68, arecord closing high, after the U.S. department store operatorsaid promotions had increased sales and business was improvingahead of the holiday season. The stock's rally on Macy'sstronger-than-expected earnings spurred demand for consumerdiscretionary shares.

The S&P consumer discretionary sector index jumped1.6 percent, leading the benchmark S&P 500'sadvance.

Macy's was among the first of several retailers expected toreport earnings in the coming days.

"Macy's reported blowout numbers. It's had a positive impacton everything else consumer related today. I think people'sexpectations were pretty low for holiday shopping, and I thinkthat woke a lot of people up," said Michael James, managingdirector of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70.96 points,or 0.45 percent, to end at 15,821.63, a record close. The Dowalso hit an all-time intraday high of 15,822.98. The Standard &Poor's 500 Index gained 14.31 points, or 0.81 percent, tofinish at a record 1,782.00.

The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 45.66 points, or1.16 percent, to close at 3,965.58.

The S&P 500 also found support from technology stocks, withshares of NetApp rising 2.7 percent to $41.29 ahead ofthe company's results after the close. After the bell, the stockslipped 0.2 percent to $41.20 following the release of itsresults.

Macy's was the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainer.

Among other retail stocks, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shares edged up 0.2 percent to $78.90 a day ahead of itsquarterly earnings.

Home Depot Inc, which is set to report results nextweek, gained 1.9 percent to $77.60 and bolstered the Dowindustrials.

In addition to Yellen's testimony on Thursday, investors areawaiting a speech from Bernanke. The Fed chairman is scheduledto speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (midnight GMT), though the topicis not specific to monetary policy. A question-and-answersession will follow.

Cisco Systems Inc shares gained 1.12 percent toabout $24 ahead of the release of the networking equipmentmaker's earnings.

After the bell, Cisco's stock fell 1.6 percent after thecompany reported quarterly revenue that missed Wall Street'sexpectations.

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