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Stocks trade mixed as investors wait for remarks from Powell

Stocks trade mixed as investors wait for remarks from Powell

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stocks trade mixed as investors wait for remarks from Powell

Stocks were mixed Thursday morning as investors wait to hear from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and ahead of the government’s monthly jobs report due out on FridayBy The Associated PressMarch 4, 2021, 4:29 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleStocks were mixed on Thursday morning as investors wait to hear from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell later in the day and ahead of the government’s monthly jobs report due out on Friday.The S&P 500 index was up 0.1% as of 11:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up slightly, only 0.1%, while the Nasdaq index fell 0.3%.Energy companies were broadly higher as oil prices jumped more than 4%. Members of OPEC are meeting Thursday to discuss potentially increasing oil production as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Chevron were all up more than 3%.Wall Street continues to look to Washington, where economic data, comments out of the Federal Reserve and President Joe Biden’s stimulus package remain key points of focus. Treasury yields went as high as 1.50% last week as investors braced for stronger economic growth but also a possible increase in inflation.Powell will speak starting at noon Eastern time in what has been labeled as comments on monetary policy. Investors heard from him last week when he testified in front of Congress, but Thursday’s Q&A format may be more illuminating than Powell’s calculated answers to politicians.Investors are looking ahead to the February jobs report on Friday. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect employers created 225,000 jobs last month. The report also includes numbers for how much wages are rising across the economy, a key component of inflation.The market also is closely watching bond yields. Shares have kept closely tied with fluctuations in bond yields recently. When yields rise quickly, as they have in recent weeks, it forces Wall Street to rethink the value of stocks. Technology stocks are most vulnerable to this reassessment after having soared during the pandemic, making them look pricier than the rest of the market.U.S. government bond yields have rebounded after easing earlier in the week. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped back to 1.47% Thursday after rising to 1.48% earlier in the day.The Senate is moving forward with President Biden’s stimulus bill, with most of the negotiations now happening between the more moderate Democrats in the Senate and the White House.


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