Stock market today: Indexes poised for another record as traders digest Fed commentary

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The Fed looks like it’s “inching closer” to a rate cut, according to B. Riley Wealth’s Art Hogan.Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

  • US stocks looked on track to notch another fresh record on Wednesday.

  • Major indexes higher as traders digested Powell’s comments before Congress.

  • The Fed chief will continue his testimony on Wednesday.

US stocks climbed higher on Wednesday and were poised to notch another fresh record. Major averages were higher after the opening bell, while bond yields ticked lower.

Traders were feeling upbeat after Fed Chair Powell delivered slightly dovish guidance on rate cuts before Congress on Tuesday.

More positive inflation data would strengthen the Fed’s confidence that inflation is heading towards the central bank’s 2% target, Powell said.

“Reducing policy restraint too late or too little could unduly weaken economic activity and employment,” he added.

Fed fund futures showed the rate outlook was relatively unchanged after Powell’s testimony. Investors are pricing in around two rate cuts by the end of the year, though bets on three rate cuts by December rose slightly, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

“The Fed is definitely inching closer to cutting rates due to the ‘considerable progress’ that has been made in taming inflation,” Art Hogan, the chief market strategist of B. Riley Wealth, said in a note on Wednesday.

Powell is set to deliver the second part of his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. Markets, meanwhile, also have their eye on Thursday’s inflation report, which will be key as FOMC members convene at the end of the month to discuss their next policy move.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Wednesday:

Here’s what else happened today:

In commodities, bonds, and crypto:

  • West Texas Intermediate crude ticked higher 0.06% to $81.46 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, dipped 0.05% to $84.62 a barrel.

  • Gold rose 0.63% to $2,378 per ounce.

  • The 10-year Treasury yield slipped one basis point to 4.283%.

  • Bitcoin climbed 1.3% to $58,014.

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