Stocks Ended Higher on Powell Comments, Earnings

U.S. stocks ended firmly higher on Tuesday, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expressed an optimistic U.S. economic view and solid earnings bolstered the outlook for a robust reporting period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.53 points, or 0.22%, to 25,119.89. The S&P 500 gained 11.12 points, or 0.40%, to 2,809.55. The Nasdaq Composite added 49.40 points, or 0.63%, to 7,855.12.

Oil prices notched modest gains Tuesday as traders remained concerned about changes in global production and an uncertain economic and political backdrop. August West Texas Intermediate crude inched up by 2 cents to settle at $68.08 a barrel, while September Brent oil added 32 cents, or early 0.5%, to $72.6 a barrel.

Appearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee, Powell said the “best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal-funds rate for now.” This was seen as suggesting that the central bank wouldn’t become too aggressive in raising rates, something that is widely seen as a risk to markets.

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