December 6, 2019

Little Movement on Wall Street

Wall Street stocks moved sharply higher on Wednesday as investors awaited a second round of testimony in Congress by the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, for clarity on the longevity of the Fed’s economic stimulus program.

The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index added 0.9 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1 percent in afternoon trading.

“Of course, Bernanke is in the spotlight again but I don’t expect him to vary from his comments from yesterday,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

A day earlier, Mr. Bernanke strongly defended the Fed’s monetary stimulus efforts before Congress. His comments eased worries in the financial markets over an early retreat from the Fed’s bond buying program, which had been triggered by minutes of the Fed’s January meeting released a week ago.

His remarks, along with data showing sales of new homes hit a four and a half year high, helped Wall Street stocks rebound Tuesday from their worst decline since November.

Up 6 percent for the year, the S.P. 500 was within reach of record highs a week ago, before the minutes from the Fed’s January meeting were released. Since then, the index has shed 1 percent.

In earnings news, Target posted a lower quarterly profit as sales of food and value-priced items only partially mitigated weakness in holiday spending. The stock fell 1.3 percent.

Dollar Tree reported a higher quarterly profit as the chain controlled costs and as consumer spending improved. The stock rose 10.2 percent.

In Europe, shares rose almost 2 percent, steadying after the previous session’s sharp losses, though jitters over the euro zone kept a lid on gains.

Italy’s 10-year debt costs rose more than half a percentage point at the first longer-term auction since an inconclusive parliamentary election, although they remained below the psychologically important level of 5 percent.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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