Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq up more than 1% following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that were perceived to be less hawkish than expected.
Powell said, in a Q&A session at the Economic Club of Washington, that he expects 2023 to be a year of “significant declines in inflation”.
“He’s (Powell) not saying anything that would make you think he’s going to raise rates more than what the market is anticipating at this point,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in New Jersey.
“The first question that the interviewer asked him was ‘if you would have seen that jobs report would you have done something different’ and it didn’t sound like he would have.”
The Fed raised interest rates by 25 basis points last week, with markets now pricing in a peak rate above 5% after data on Friday showed the U.S. economy added jobs at a rapid pace in January.
At 12:58 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 253.68 points, or 0.75%, at 34,144.70, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 48.93 points, or 1.19%, at 4,160.01, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 207.82 points, or 1.75%, at 12,095.27.