US stocks rise ahead of testimony from Fed Chair Powell


A man wearing a face mask walks past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong, Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Asian shares have rebounded from their retreat a day earlier, tracking Wall Street’s recovery from the Federal Reserve’s reminder it will eventually provide less support to markets. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Stocks are rising on Wall Street Tuesday as traders wait for more clues on the Federal Reserve’s thinking on inflation.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.3% as of 12:17 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points, or 0.1%, to 33,904 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

Technology companies were the biggest gainers. A mix of companies that rely on direct consumer spending, including Home Depot and Best Buy, were also making solid gains. Crude oil prices edged lower and weighed down energy companies.

Stocks rebounded on Wall Street Monday, clawing back most of their sharp loss from last week, as the initial jolt passes from the Federal Reserve’s reminder that it will eventually offer less help for markets. The S&P 500 recovered nearly three-quarters of its worst weekly loss since February.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify before Congress later Tuesday on the central bank’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Investors remain focused on the issue of inflation and will be listening closely to Powell’s comments on this issue. The U.S. economy is recovering from the pandemic quickly as vaccines have rolled out, but it’s caused prices for basic materials to rise noticeably in recent months.

In prepared remarks, Powell reaffirmed the Fed’s position that while inflation has accelerated recently, the Fed expect the effects to be transitory.

Powell’s remarks follow a meeting of the Fed policymakers last week, when central bank officials signaled they were prepared to raise rates earlier than they had previously suggested.

Bond prices didn’t move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 1.48%.

GameStop rose 4.9% after the company announced it had raised $1 billion in selling new shares to investors. Financing announcements helped lift shares for several other companies. Tupperware jumped 14.3% after announcing a $250 million stock buyback and software company Splunk rose 11.3% after announcing a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake.

The price of Bitcoin continued to fall, adding to its losses from the previous couple of weeks. The digital currency was trading at about $32,000, according to Coindesk. Earlier in the day, it went below $30,000, about where it started the year. It traded above $60,000 in mid-April.

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