- US stocks rose Wednesday on comments from Fed chief Jerome Powell that the US recovery still has further to go before the central bank changes course.
- Bank earnings continued, with Bank of America and Citigroup reporting second-quarter results.
- Bitcoin and oil slipped, while gold prices rose.
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US stocks moved higher on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the US economic recovery still has further to go before the central bank considers tapering its asset purchases.
Powell said the US job market “is still a ways off” from the progress the Fed hopes to achieve, suggesting it would stick to its highly accommodative monetary policy even in the face of data showing inflation on the rise.
“Ahead of Powell’s testimony, it’s pretty clear he’s sticking to his guns on the Fed’s long-term action plan. While Powell acknowledged inflation is higher, taking the CPI and PPI numbers in aggregate, it’s hard to ignore the inflation signals. So as we look ahead, economic data could have a chokehold on the market as investors look for any indication that inflation is truly transitory,” Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial, said.
On Tuesday, US stocks fell after CPI data showed prices rose more than expected in June. The Consumer Price Index increased 0.9% in June to the biggest monthly jump in 13 years.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 am ET open on Wednesday:
Stocks have scaled to record highs in the past weeks as data continuously points to a strong economic recovery on top of robust corporate earnings.
On Wednesday, bank earnings continued with Bank of America reporting revenue that fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts but blew past net income predictions.
Citigroup meanwhile posted earnings that came in above analyst estimates as the banking giant’s stock trading offset a miss in fixed income.
The yield on the US 10-year Treasury slipped 3.9 basis points to 1.376%.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin fell 1% to $32,392.85 in the early morning trading, bringing losses since its April peak to 48%. Bitcoin bulls have long argued it is a hedge against inflation, but the digital asset dipped lower, following Tuesday’s consumer price data.
Oil prices slid after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reached a compromise allowing the latter to boost its output, Reuters reported.
West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.36%, to $74.98 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 0.18%, to $76.35 barrel.
Gold edged higher for the second straight session, rising 1.14% to $1,826.57 per ounce.