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

Stocks rose Thursday after swinging between gains and losses as Wall Street weighed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments on the central bank’s continued inflation fight.

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 rose 0.60% to 11,862.13.

Earlier, shares slid during a Q&A session by 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 lower interest rates is not soon.

“History strongly cautions against premature policy easing,” he said. “I can assure you that my colleagues and I are strongly committed to this project and we will continue until the job is done.”

The European Central Bank raised interest rates early Thursday morning by 0.75 percentage points, taking its deposit to 0.75% from zero, in a widely expected measure to curb inflation.

Later in the morning, stocks reversed earlier losses in an effort to continue a strong rebound. Major averages posted their best day since Aug. 10 on Wednesday as the Nasdaq snapped a seven-day losing streak.

Still, equities remain broadly in a downtrend as worries about a slowing economy and further rate hikes from the Federal Reserve push some investors away from riskier segments 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 that is set to be released on September 13. “We’re probably going to go into wait and see mode.”

Read the coverage of the mercado de hoy en español here.

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