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A rally on Wall Street gathered steam on Wednesday, as investors hailed remarks from the Federal Reserve chairman suggesting interest rates may not rise too much further.
The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.2 percent at 25,297.70 around 1850 GMT, while the broader S&P 500 gained 1.9 percent at 2,732.55.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq was 2.4 percent higher 7,232.55.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in remarks to the New York Economic Club, charted a middle ground, saying rates still were too low but only ‘just below’ the estimate of neutral – a rate that neither stimulates nor restrains the economy.
Powell’s characterization of interest rates as nearly normal ‘were the magic words,’ said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services. ‘That’s what the market wanted to hear.’
The remarks were ‘dovish’ in light of Powell’s remarks last month that interest rates were ‘a long way from neutral,’ Briefing.com said.
Powell is widely expected to oversee another interest rate hike next month. But market watchers have been hoping for relief in the wake of stock market volatility in recent weeks that was due in part to worries about the Fed.
Powell’s remarks came a day after President Donald Trump reiterated criticism of Powell, telling The Washington Post he was ‘not even a little bit happy’ with the Fed chairman.
Major gainers in the Dow included Apple, Boeing, Microsoft and Nike. All were up at least three percent.