All three major U.S. indexes were moving up by more than 1% ahead of the opening bell, bringing the S&P close to its record of 1,709 from Aug. 2. The U.S. dollar was slipping.
Investors are excited at the prospect of Yellen taking over from current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, since she is widely expected to pursue a similar policy of stimulating the economy to bring the unemployment rate down.
Investors had been concerned that Summers, the previous frontrunner for the top Fed job, would have been more aggressive at pulling back on the monetary stimulus measures that have been pumping cash into the system and supporting stock markets around the world.
The threat of imminent U.S.-led military strikes against Syria has now faded to the background, but it had caused a significant amount of market volatility and spikes in oil prices. The price of light crude oil is now easing.
Looking to the day ahead, the New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve will publish its monthly manufacturing survey at 8:30 a.m. ET. At 9:15, the Census Bureau will release reports on industrial production and capacity utilization.