STOCKS HIT NEW HIGHS: Here's what you need to know

The major US equity indexes rose to all-time highs while bonds sold off after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen struck a hawkish tone on interest rates during her congressional testimony.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,476.44, +64.28, (0.31%)
  • S&P 500: 2,334.80, +6.55, (0.28%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,774.81, +10.86, (0.19%)
  1. “W aiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise, potentially requiring the FOMC to eventually raise rates rapidly, which could risk disrupting financial markets and pushing the economy into recession,” Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee.
  2. Cigna is scrapping its plan to merge with rival Anthem, and is suing Anthem for $US13 billion in damages because the deal couldn’t get approved. The health insurance company said it was terminating the merger after a federal judge blocked the deal on anti-competitive grounds.
  3. Humana announced that it was terminating its merger agreement with its health insurance counterpart Aetna after a federal judge blocked the deal. Aetna will pay Humana a breakup fee of $US1 billion, or $US630 million excluding taxes.
  4. Canadian home prices in January saw the largest 12-month increase in a decade amid the housing boom in Toronto. National house price inflation climbed to an annual rate of 13.0% year-over-year, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index.
  5. The House Freedom Caucus, a conservative wing of congressional Republicans, voted Monday night to support a swift and aggressive repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This complicates GOP efforts to unite around a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

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