Dow closes almost 200 points higher as investors weigh future interest rate hikes

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Stocks rose Thursday after moving between gains and losses as Wall Street weighed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments on the central bank continuing to fight inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 193.24 points, or 0.61%, to close at 31,774.52. The S&P 500 rose 0.66% to 4,006.18, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.60% to 11,862.13.

Earlier, stocks slid during a Q&A session from Powell at the Cato Institute where he reiterated that the central bank will do what it takes to fight inflation. He also signaled that a pause in rate hikes or a pivot to cutting interest rates is not coming soon.

“History cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy,” he said. “I can assure you that my colleagues and I are strongly committed to this project and we will keep at it until the job is done.”

The European Central Bank early Thursday morning hiked interest rates by 0.75 percentage point, raising its deposit to 0.75% from zero, in a largely expected move to tamp down inflation.

Later in the morning, stocks reversed earlier losses in an attempt to continue a solid rebound. On Wednesday, the major averages posted their best day since Aug. 10, with the Nasdaq snapping a seven-day losing streak.

Still, stocks remain in a downtrend overall as concerns about a slowing economy and further rate hikes from the Federal Reserve are pushing some investors away from riskier parts of the market.

“I think we have a nervous market in a pre-CPI week,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Financial, pointing to the August consumer price index report set to be released Sept. 13. “We’re probably going to shift into a wait and see mode.”

Lea la cobertura del mercado de hoy en español aquí.

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