* Yellen says Fed to raise interest rates at an upcoming
* Dollar, Treasury yields, bank stocks gain
* Bond proxy sectors, utilities and real estate, drop
* Apple hits record high; top stock on S&P, Nasdaq
* Indexes up: Dow 0.32 pct, S&P 0.30 pct, Nasdaq 0.26 pct
(Updates to afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
Feb 14 (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes hit record highs
on Tuesday, led by bank stocks after Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen said it would be unwise to wait too long to raise
Apple rose as much as 1.25 percent to an all-time
high of $134.95, contributing to gains in the S&P 500, Dow Jones
Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite indexes.
Yellen said delaying rate hikes could force the U.S. central
bank to raise rates quicker down the line, which could risk a
recession. She also expressed uncertainty over economic policy
under the Trump administration.
Banks, expected to gain from higher interest rates, led the
market higher. Goldman Sachs rose 1.49 percent and Bank
of America added 2.97 percent. The S&P 500 financial
index rose 1.3 percent.
President Donald Trump's pro-business stance sparked a
record-setting rally in stocks following his November election.
However, he has given scant detail on his policies, leaving the
Fed with limited visibility about the economy's future
Speaking to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Yellen did
not indicate whether the Fed still planned to raise rates three
times this year, nor did she indicate whether a hike might come
in March or in June, as most analysts expect.
"With the new president, there is still the uncertainty of
the economic policy," said Jeff Carbone, co-founder of
Cornerstone Financial Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"How much growth we get out of the market will affect
policymaking and how quickly they need to react."
At 2:04 p.m. (1904 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 0.32 percent at 20,477.2, while the S&P 500
had gained 0.30 percent to 2,335.32, both reversing losses from
earlier in the day.
The Nasdaq Composite added 0.26 percent to
Yellen's comments lifted the dollar and U.S. Treasury
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the
utilities and real estate sectors, which
tend to fall when Treasury yields rise.
General Motors added 4.64 percent after Peugeot owner
PSA Group said it is in talks to buy GM's European
The prospects of sector consolidation caused Fiat to jump
4.84 percent, while Ford gained 0.84 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.12-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 57 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 113 new highs and 16 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru;
Editing by James Dalgleish)