* Dollar, Treasury yields, bank stock gain on Yellen
* Bond proxy sectors, utilities and real estate, drop
* GM jumps on talks of selling its Europe Opel unit
* Indexes down: Dow 0.04 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.16 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Feb 14 Wall Street edged lower on Tuesday after
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank will
likely need to raise interest rates at an upcoming meeting, but
expressed uncertainty over economic policy under the Trump
She did not say if the Fed still planned for three rate
hikes this year, as it had signaled in December. Nor did she
give indications if a hike might come at its meeting in March or
in June, as most analysts expect.
While President Donald Trump's pro-business stance sparked a
record-setting rally in equities, he has given scant detail on
his policies, giving the Fed limited visibility on the direction
of the economy.
"It is too early to know what policy changes will be put in
place or how their economic effects will unfold," Yellen said.
She said delaying rate hikes could leave Fed policymakers
behind the curve and lead to quicker rate hikes down the line,
which could cause a recession.
Yellen's rate hike comments lifted the dollar and
U.S. Treasury yields, while boosting the S&P financial
sector, which rose 0.8 percent. Bank stocks were the top gainers
on the S&P and the KBW banking index rose 1.3 percent.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the high
dividend-yielding utilities and real estate
sectors, both of which were down more than 1 percent.
"While emphasizing the broadening improvements in the U.S.
economy, Chair Yellen highlighted the still-uncertain outlook,
including on account of possible changes in fiscal policy and
'developments abroad,' and thus the importance of a highly
responsive monetary policy." said Mohamed El-Erian, chief
economic adviser at Allianz in Newport Beach, California.
At 10:49 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 9.17 points, or 0.04 percent, at 20,402.99, the S&P 500
was down 3.96 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,324.29 and
the Nasdaq Composite was down 9.32 points, or 0.16
percent, at 5,754.63.
General Motors was the biggest percentage gainer on
the S&P, rising 3.9 percent after Peugeot-owner PSA Group
said it is in talks to buy GM's European Opel
The prospects of sector consolidation caused Fiat to jump
3.7 percent, while Ford gained 0.6 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,896
to 875. On the Nasdaq, 1,522 issues fell and 1,129 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 36 new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 68 new highs and 11 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by