Wall St higher as Fed's Powell says economy in 'good shape'
By Arjun Panchadar (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the domestic economy was in good shape and the central bank saw a 'sustained expansion' ahead. This helped ease nerves on Wall Street which opened lower after President Donald Trump on Tuesday offered no new details on trade negotiations with China. The benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq had hit new record levels in the run up to Trump's speech, but ended the session off their highs following his address.
By Arjun Panchadar
(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the domestic economy was in good shape and the central bank saw a "sustained expansion" ahead.
This helped ease nerves on Wall Street which opened lower after President Donald Trump on Tuesday offered no new details on trade negotiations with China.
The benchmark S&P 500 <.SPX> and Nasdaq <.IXIC> had hit new record levels in the run up to Trump's speech, but ended the session off their highs following his address.
Powell's comments come after the Fed lowered borrowing costs three times this year to cushion the world's largest economy from a global slowdown. He said the full impact of the interest rate cuts were yet to be felt, as he testified before the Congress.
Meanwhile, data showed U.S. consumer prices rebounded more than expected in October and underlying inflation picked up.
"There's still enough gas in the tank to keep the economy moving," said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at U.S. Bank's private wealth management unit.
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher led by gains in defensive names such as utilities <.SPLRCU>, real estate <.SPLRCR> and consumer staples <.SPLRCS>, indicating investor caution.
An impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump, as well as geopolitical tensions including the escalating anti-government protests in Hong Kong are factors that investors are keeping a close eye on.
The three major U.S. stock indexes have had a solid start to this month on the back of a strong corporate earnings season and hopes of a trade deal.
"Earnings are good, rates are low, the consumer is happy — all of those provide a pretty solid backdrop for markets to scale even higher," Kravetz said.
A 4.4% jump in shares of Walt Disney Co
Shares of Netflix Inc
At 1:09 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 71.97 points, or 0.26%, at 27,763.46, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 5.01 points, or 0.16%, at 3,096.85. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 9.73 points, or 0.11%, at 8,495.83.
Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.14-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.22-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 65 new highs and 96 new lows.
(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.