Major Wall Street indexes pared losses and the Nasdaq turned positive on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank was “strongly committed” to bringing inflation down to its peak. highest level for 40 years.
In his prepared remarks to the Senate Banking Committee, Powell reiterated that continued increases in the policy rate would be appropriate, but that the pace of changes will continue to depend on incoming data and the changing outlook for the economy.
His comments came a week after the U.S. central bank hiked interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, its biggest increase since 1994. Economists expect a similar move next month, according to a Reuters poll. next, followed by an increase of half a percentage point. increase in September.
“It’s the accommodating side of being very warmonger. It’s a little less clear and a little less than fully committed,” said Thomas Simons, money market economist at Jefferies, New York.
“There’s not this rock-solid commitment to we-do-whatever-it-takes-might-be-the-predecessor to maybe really aggressive rate hikes that could lead to a quick drop from production.”
Wall Street has been the victim of a pretense in recent sessions as traders wonder if the market has bottomed following a strong sell-off, fearing aggressive policy action by central banks trigger a global economic downturn.
As of 10:15 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 70.95 points, or 0.23%, at 30,459.30, the S&P 500 was down 0.51 points, or 0.01%, at 3,764.28, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 42.53 points, or 0.38. %, at 11,111.83.
Oil prices fell more than $5, with global benchmark Brent hovering around $110 a barrel. The energy sector slid 3.3% and was the big loser among the 11 major S&P sectors.
Falling issues outnumbered advances by a 1.54-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered declining issues with a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded a new 52-week high and 38 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded six new highs and 126 new lows.