DJIA: 36,252.02, up 183.15
S&P 500: 4,713.07, up 42.78
Nasdaq: 15,153.45, up 210.62
S&P 500 snaps five-day losing streak
Stocks finished firmly higher during a volatile session on Tuesday as investors weighed comments from Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell. During his nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, the Fed chief offered reassurance that policymakers would use their tools to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched. Furthermore, he stated that no decision had been made concerning the reduction of the central bank’s nearly $8.8 trillion balance sheet, adding that “it’s a long road to normal” in terms of monetary policy. The S&P 500 rose 0.9%, snapping a five-session losing streak that had been its longest since September. The Dow climbed 183 points, while the Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.4% as investors appeared to buy the dip in recently beleaguered tech shares.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory, with the more traditionally defensive Utilities and Consumer Staples groups lagging alongside Real Estate shares. The Energy sector outperformed with WTI crude jumping 4.1% to $81.42/barrel. Technology shares were also among the standouts with chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. rising 4% on the heels of an analyst upgrade. In other corporate news, medical equipment maker Illumina Inc. surged 15.8% after its 2022 revenue outlook topped Wall Street expectations.
Treasuries strengthened modestly, with the yield on the 10-year note easing two basis points (0.02%) to 1.74%, still near a two-year high. On the data front, a measure of small business optimism improved modestly in December. Tomorrow will bring a key update on inflation. In commodities, COMEX gold added 1.3% to $1822.30/ounce as a gauge of the U.S. dollar declined 0.4%.
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