Fed Chief Testifies, and Wall Street Is Mixed

S&P 500 edges up to another record after Powell provides few hints
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2024 3:25 PM CDT
Fed Chief Testifies, and Wall Street Is Mixed
A bike rider approaches the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in New York.   (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street Tuesday after testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in front of Congress provided little new guidance on the Fed's plans for lowering interest rates, per the AP.

  • The S&P 500 ticked up 4 points to 5,576, another record close.
  • The Dow fell 52 points to 39,291.
  • The Nasdaq rose 25 points to 18,429, also a record close.

The market's muted reaction reflected how Powell's testimony didn't give Wall Street any clear indication on the central bank's thinking. "The market is really seeing no surprises today and so that's allowing it to modestly drift higher," said Lisa Erickson, head of public markets at US Bank Wealth Management. In his testimony, Powell noted that "elevated inflation is not the only risk we face." Cutting rates "too late or too little could unduly weaken economic activity and employment," he said. Powell is scheduled to testify again on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee. His testimony comes ahead of new inflation updates later this week.

Among S&P 500 stocks on Tuesday, gains in banks helped outweigh a pullback in tech sector companies. JPMorgan Chase rose 1.6% and Bank of America added 2.3%, while Microsoft fell 1.6% and Broadcom slid 1.5%. Consumer goods company Helen of Troy, which makes Osprey and OXO products, sank 28.5% after posting first-quarter results that fell far short of forecasts. Chipmaker Intel rose another 1.9% following Monday's 6.2% gain as bullish analysts suggest the company's next processors will be in high demand for AI-related products.

(More stock market stories.)

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