U.S. stocks rallied midday, reversing morning losses, as investors bought financial and energy names amid ongoing testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in which he reiterated that the central bank would continue to support the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied over 200 points, or 0.9% to a fresh record, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.81% and 0.61%, respectively.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.153.56+2.96+1.96%XLFFINANCIAL SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF33.59+0.69+2.11%XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION56.91+1.80+3.28%XLEENERGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF50.50+1.93+3.96%Powered by
JPMorgan hit a fresh record helping lift financials, while energy stocks popped giving Exxon Mobil a gain of 2%. This as West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed climbed to the $63 per barrel level.
The rebound comes even as the benchmark 10-year yield reached a one-year high, before pulling back slightly to 1.38%. Wall Street strategists worry a move above 1.5% will have a detrimental impact on stocks.
The rise in bond yields comes after Powell told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the Fed would continue its asset-purchase program and that inflation would remain in control. Powell will continue his two days of Capitol Hill testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
Looking at stocks, Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine was ruled to be safe and effective by U.S. regulators. The inoculation could receive Food and Drug Administration approval for emergency use by week's end.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON163.83+3.26+2.03%Powered by
Lowe’s Companies Inc. reported quarterly same-store sales spiked 28% year over year, but reiterated do-it-yourself projects that became popular during the pandemic could lose popularity as the economy normalizes. Both earnings and revenue were above Wall Street estimates.
Payment-company Square Inc. purchased an additional $170 million worth of bitcoin at an average price of around $51.235 a coin, according to a press release out Tuesday evening. The new buys increase the company’s bitcoin holdings to above 5% of its cash and cash equivalents.
The announcement accompanied Square’s quarterly report which beat analyst expectations for both earnings and revenue, however, it indicated growth may be slowing.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %TSLATESLA INC.731.81+32.97+4.72%Powered by
Tesla Inc. was in focus after investor Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest funds added to its position in the company. Shares of the electric-car maker slid into bear market territory on Tuesday, down 21% from their January high.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %GMEGAMESTOP48.42+3.48+7.73%Powered by
Meanwhile, GameStop Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell will step down next month as the video game retailer shifts its focus to e-commerce, the company said late Tuesday. The decision comes nearly a month after GameStop shares were at the center of a retail trading frenzy.
In Europe, France’s CAC 40 was trading lower by 0.16 and Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.1%. Germany’s DAX 30, outperformed gaining 0.38% after the country’s economy grew at a faster than expected 0.3% in the fourth quarter.
Markets were hit hard across Asia with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index falling 2.99% after the government raised the tax on stock trades. Elsewhere in the region, China’s Shanghai Composite index lost 1.99% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.61%.