U.S. markets turn in modest gains after Fed chair testimony before House

A sign for Wall Street hangs outside at the New York Stock Exchange on April 20, 2020. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

July 14 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 turned in modest gains Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered his semiannual testimony before Congress.

The blue-chip Dow gained 44.44 points, or 0.13%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.12% after hitting a record high earlier in the day. The Nasdaq Composite lagged behind, falling 0.22%.

During testimony before the House Finance Services Committee, Powell noted that “conditions in the labor market have continued to improve, but there is still a long way to go,” before the central bank changes its monetary policy.

Powell again reiterated that the Fed will be patient in easing its bond purchasing while acknowledging that inflation has “increased notably” and predicted it will remain high in the coming months but will moderate.

The 10-year treasury yield fell six basis points to 1.36% following Powell’s testimony.

Apple stock gained 2.41% for a record close after reports that the company asked suppliers to increase production on its next line of iPhones by 20%.

Tech was also the only sector in the S&P 500 to finish in the green on Wednesday as Netflix stock increased 1.34% and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, gained 0.7%.

“At this point, until there’s a better alternative or there’s some type of negative earnings news or slowing momentum of those stocks, I think they’ll continue to do well,” Eric Diton, president and managing director of The Wealth Alliance, told Bloomberg.

Wednesday also saw continued earnings reports as Bank of America stocks fell 2.51% after it reported revenue of $21.6 billion, falling short of expectations and American Airlines stock shot up 3% after exceeding analysts predictions.


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