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Wall Street ends sharply higher after Powell comments

Wall Street ended sharply higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank might scale back the pace of its interest rate hikes as soon as December.

Wall Street ends sharply higher after Powell comments

The S&P 500 rallied and closed above its 200-day moving average for the first time since April after the release of Powell's remarks prepared for delivery at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington.

S&P 500 clears 200-day moving average

Powell also cautioned that the fight against inflation was far from over and that key questions remain unanswered, including how high rates will ultimately need to rise and for how long.

"(The market) has waited with bated breath, looking for that clarification in terms of duration and extent of Fed tightening. And anything that gives hope to the idea that the Fed is becoming less hawkish is viewed as a positive for stocks, at least on a short-term basis," said Chuck Carlson, Chief Executive Officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

Bets that the Fed will reduce the size of its rate hikes and recent data pointing to a mild cooling in inflation led the benchmark S&P 500 index to its second straight month of gains.


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