Stocks on Wall Street rose on Thursday as U.S. Treasury yields fell to a two-week low, while copper was at 16-month lows as investors worried about a possible global economic slowdown. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress for a second day, a day after saying the Fed is committed to cutting inflation at all costs, and acknowledged a recession was “certainly a possibility.”
Investors have been weighing the risk of hefty interest rate rises tipping economies into recession. “What we’re seeing here is a (stock) market trying to absorb the Fed’s tightening and basically trying to put in a low in a bear market,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 9.72 points, or 0.03%, to 30,492.85, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 12.44 points, or 0.33%, to 3,772.33 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 102.73 points, or 0.93%, to 11,155.81. The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) lost 0.82% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) shed 0.01%.
In the bond market, yields have dropped from their highest in more than a decade, reached before last week’s Fed meeting, when the U.S. central bank hiked rates by 75 basis points, the biggest increase since 1994, and signalled a possible similar move in July. Copper prices slumped as rising interest rates and weak economic data fed worries about demand.
Copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down more than 3% and hit its lowest since February 2021. In the foreign exchange market, the dollar index rose 0.201%, with the euro down 0.44% to $1.0519.
Oil prices ended lower as investors weighed the risk of a recession. Brent crude futures fell $1.69 to settle at $110.05 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $1.92 to settle at $104.27.