US stocks up ahead of Fed chair Powell remarks

Wall Street was in the black ahead of remarks by Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell as investors continue to hold their nerve on trade as the G20 summit nears.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3 per cent to 2,691.42 — with a 0.8 per cent rise in tech stocks and a 0.7 per cent increase in healthcare and consumer discretionary stocks offsetting a 0.4 per cent drop in materials and communication services.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 per cent to 24,930.85, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3 per cent to 7106.87. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks was up 0.3 per cent to 1,496.64.

Mr Powell is scheduled to deliver a speech on “The Federal Reserve’s Framework for Monitoring Financial Stability” at the Economic Club of New York at noon local time.

Donald Trump on Tuesday heaped more opprobrium on Mr Powell by telling the Washington Post: “So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay.” Mr Trump has been critical of the Fed’s monetary policy, which he argues is clipping US economic expansion.

While the Fed is widely expected to lift interest rates for the fourth time this year in December, the outlook for monetary policy next year is clouded as policymakers grapple with questions about where the US economy is headed, the housing market loses momentum and inflation remains contained.

Wednesday’s moves also come as investors continued to measure political rhetoric on the US-China trade dispute ahead of a meeting between Mr Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina.

Read More   RUTH SUNDERLAND: More trouble ahead for Metro as it seeks new chairman

Elsewhere in markets, the yield on the US 10-year was up 0.9 basis points to 3.066 per cent, while that on the two-year was up 0.6 basis points to 2.839 per cent.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, a gauge of the buck against a weighted basket of peers, rose 0.1 per cent to 97.47.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.