The Dow jumped more than 500 points on Tuesday, its second-best day of the year, and continued its rally on Wednesday by gaining more than 200 points. For the week, the 30-stock index is up nearly 3% through Wednesday’s close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are also up 2.7% and 1.6%, respectively, this week.
Powell said Tuesday Fed will keep an eye on current developments in the economy, and would do what it must to “sustain the expansion.”
Powell’s comments are “helpful and the markets are expecting some rate cuts,” said Mike Baele, managing director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “The current data isn’t the problem; it’s the forecasts. The impact of what trade might do to the outlook has the attention of the Fed. It’s a highly fluid situation because we don’t know how any resolution on trade and tariffs will turn out. But to the extent that it affects the real economy, the Fed is willing to cut.”
In Europe, the European Central Bank kept rates unchanged on Thursday. The central bank also indicated it will likely keep rates at their current levels through at least the first half of 2020.