The S&P 500 Index rose 0.20% on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress that the economy has been “strong” and that he would continue to keep interest rates low.

The yahoo finance is reporting that stocks are up slightly after Powell spoke to Congress.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both rose slightly on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told members of Congress that inflation would decrease and that the central bank will keep its present monetary policies in place.

After a turbulent day characterized by swings between gains and losses, both major indexes ended off their session highs. Stocks in the United States rose sharply to begin the day, sending the S&P 500 to a new intraday high, before paring their gains and wavering as the day progressed.

The S&P 500 rose 5.09 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4374.30 at the conclusion of the day. To 34933.23, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44.44 points, or 0.1 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, dropped 32.70 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14644.95, marking the index’s second consecutive day of losses.

The main indexes fluctuated as investors tried to make sense of the forecast for inflation in the United States, as well as how the Federal Reserve would react. The Labor Department said on Tuesday that the consumer price index increased 5.4 percent from a year earlier in June, the highest 12-month pace since August 2008. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said on Wednesday that its producer-price index, which gauges the prices suppliers charge companies and other consumers, rose 7.3 percent on an unadjusted basis in the 12 months ending in June. Since the 12-month statistics were initially computed in November 2010, this was the biggest increase.

Mr. Powell addressed the issue during his presentation of the Fed’s semiannual monetary-policy report to the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. In his testimony, he said that inflation has been “higher than we anticipated and a little more persistent” than predicted. However, he said that when the impacts of pandemic-related bottlenecks and supply restrictions fade, price rises should partly reverse.

He went on to say that the economy is still a long way from making “substantial additional progress” toward its job and inflation targets.

The major indices are currently trading around their all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is on the verge of breaking over 35000, a new high. Stocks have been pushed higher by expectations of a robust economic recovery and good business performance in this quarter’s earnings season.

Some investors, on the other hand, are concerned about impending roadblocks to the broad market rise. Aside from inflation worries, investors are also concerned about the spread of the delta coronavirus, which led Australian authorities to prolong a lockdown of Sydney on Wednesday, while South Korea increased restrictions. Some investors are concerned about high stock values.

BNP Paribas Asset Management’s chief market strategist, Daniel Morris, said, “We wouldn’t be shocked if you had a little of a downturn.” Mr. Morris, on the other hand, is optimistic about the market’s long-term prospects.

Shares of megacap technology firms helped lead the way under the surface of the market on Wednesday. Netflix increased by $7.27, or 1.3 percent, to $547.95, while Apple increased by $3.51, or 2.4 percent, to $149.15, a record high. According to Bloomberg News, Apple has requested suppliers to produce up to 90 million next-generation iPhones this year, a significant increase above last year’s shipments.

Keith Lerner, chief market analyst at Truist Advisory Services, said, “We’re seeing a continuation of investors moving out of the reflation trade and money going into secular growth sectors of the market.” “We’re in a time of change, and there are a lot of concerns… Under the surface, the market seems to be trading a little more cautiously.”

Even though several businesses announced better-than-expected financial results, shares of banks and other financial-services companies were among the worst hit in the market Wednesday—only energy stocks outperformed the S&P 500’s 11 sectors. Citigroup’s stock dropped 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $68.17. The bank said on Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings surpassed forecasts. Its sales dropped 12% to $17.47 billion, yet it still above analysts’ forecasts.

Bank of America’s stock dropped $1, or 2.5 percent, to $38.86. The bank reported $9.22 billion in second-quarter profits on Wednesday, up from $3.53 billion a year ago. However, the company’s income was hampered by low interest rates.

Wells Fargo, which finished at $44.95, adding $1.72, or 4%, to its stock price. The bank said on Wednesday that revenue increased 11% year over year to $20.27 billion, above forecasts.

Shares of BlackRock dropped $27.75, or 3.1 percent, to $880.32. The fund management behemoth reported a 14 percent increase in second-quarter earnings, but less fresh money was brought in than Wall Street expected. Larry Fink, the company’s CEO, believes that inflation is not transitory and that government measures aimed at preserving domestic employment and the supply chain would have inflationary consequences. Inflation is expected to surpass 2% yearly over the next five years, according to him.

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes dropped to 1.356 percent on Wednesday, down from 1.415 percent the day before. Bond yields and prices are inversely proportional.

Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark, dropped 2.3 percent to $74.76 a barrel in a turbulent day on the oil market. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the United Arab Emirates struck an agreement on output, ending a stalemate that shook energy markets this month.

Mr. Powell is scheduled to give a presentation to members of the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, after his hearing before the House committee on Wednesday. Investors will be on the lookout for any clues from the Fed about how it views inflation, as well as when and how it intends to end its bond-buying program.

After dropping on Tuesday, Wall Street indices have recovered.

Reuters photo/Brendan McDermid

The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.1 percent in foreign markets. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.4 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index in China fell 1.1 percent.

Caitlin McCabe and Joe Wallace can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.

Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

The Dow futures are up slightly after the testimony of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Reference: dow futures.

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