U.S. stocks closed mixed Friday but still wrapped up the week higher, as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, did not surprise investors.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 38.27 points, or 0.22 percent, to 17,001.22. The S&P 500 dropped 3.97 points, or 0.20 percent, to 1,988.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.45 points, or 0.14 percent, to 4,538.55.
The Dow and the S&P 500 logged the biggest weekly gains in four months, up 2.0 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, as investors cheered generally upbeat economic data and corporate earnings coming out this week, shrugging off lingering tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
The tech-rich Nasdaq hit a new 14.5-year high with a weekly gain of 1.6 percent.
In absence of major economic data in the day, investors were paying high attention to the Fed chief who said Friday morning that "there is no simple recipe for appropriate policy" given the complexities in evaluating the relationship between slack and inflation pressures in the current recovery.
With the economy getting closer to the Fed's objectives, the central bank's emphasis is "naturally shifting" to the question about "under what conditions we should begin dialing back our extraordinary accommodation," said Yellen.
She reiterated that monetary policy is not on a preset path, while stressing that tightening monetary policy as soon as inflation moves back toward 2 percent may prevent labor markets from fully recovering and would not be consistent with Fed's dual mandate.
The market reacted little to Yellen's speech, as the Fed head maintained her dovish posture and gave investors little clues about the timing of the first rate hike.
In an interview with CNBC earlier Friday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard stuck with his prediction that rates may start to take off late in the first quarter of 2015. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told CNBC after Yellen's speech that he expected the first rate hike to come in mid-2015.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as Wall Street's fear gauge, shed 2.47 percent to end at 11.47 on Friday.
In other markets, crude prices lost Friday amid discouraging Chinese manufacturing data in August. Light, sweet crude for October delivery moved down 31 cents to settle at 93.65 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery decreased 34 cents to close at 102.29 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange snapped a five-day losing streak Friday on short covering, with the most active gold contract for December delivery up 4.8 dollars, or 0.38 percent, to settle at 1,280.2 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar advanced against most major currencies Friday as Yellen cited faster labor market recovery in the speech. In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3241 dollars from 1.3281 dollars of the previous session, and the dollar bought 103.93 Japanese yen, higher than 103.80 yen of the previous session.