U.S. stock indices declined moderately after Fed Chair Yellen said that overseas tensions were unlikely to influence the U.S. economy. She also said that the central bank is on track to raise rates this year. Yellen said she expects stable economic growth throughout the rest of 2015, which would justify a rate hike; however she didn't not mention the timing of a liftoff.
A report by the Federal Reserve showed that U.S. industrial production slightly rose in June. Production excluding motor vehicles advanced by 0.3% after a 0.1% decline reported previously.
Meanwhile, U.S. companies raised producer prices; this means that inflation gradually moves from historically low levels. The seasonally adjusted producer price index rose 0.4% in June after a 0.5% increase in May.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.41 points to 18050.17. The S&P 500 index declined 1.55 points, or 0.1%, to 2107.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.95 points, or 0.1%, to 5098.94.
In Asia this morning Hong Kong Hang Seng climbed 0.03%, or 8.67 points, to 25,064.43. China Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.99%, or 37.65 points, to 3,843.35. Meanwhile the Nikkei rose 0.47%, or 96.18 points, to 20,559.51.
Asian stock indices are taking advantage of progress seen around Greece's crisis. Greek parliament passed a reform bill, which was demanded by the country's international lenders.
Japanese stocks advanced amid Janet Yellen's speech. She said that the central bank was preparing to raise its benchmark rate, which had been kept at 0.25% since December 2008. A weaker yen was also a positive factor for stocks.