Stocks – S&P Hits New Highs After Fed's Latest Rate Cut

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said monetary policy is “in a good place,” and investors agreed Wednesday, pushing stocks higher and the to new intraday and closing highs.

The set a new intraday high of 3,050.10 and finished up 0.33% at just under 3,047, its second closing high in three days.

The jumped 0.43%, with the up 0.33% and the index up 0.44%.

The market moved up during Powell’s news conference after the Fed decided to cut interest rates for the third time in three meetings. But the Fed wants to wait before making another move. The federal funds rate was cut to 1.5% to 1.75% from 1.75% to 2% in September.

The market was waiting for fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings from Apple (NASDAQ:), due 4:30 p.m. Shares were flat at the close.

Before the Apple report, Facebook (NASDAQ:) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:) shares were rising in the after-hours market. Both companies reported beating revenue and earnings estimates in the third quarter.

At the same time, Twitter announced it will no longer accept political advertising. Shares were lower after hours..

In his news conference remarks, Powell said the domestic economy is growing steadily, powered by strong job growth and rising consumer spending. The weak aspects of the economy were slipping business investment spending and falling exports, exacerbated by the ongoing U.S. China trade fight.

He and his Fed colleagues don’t see the economic prospects changing much in the foreseeable future, although he promised the Fed would act to support the economy in a crisis.

At the same time, he pronounced himself unworried the jobs market could get too hot. Unemployment is at multi-year lows, but he said, “We’re not thinking about raising rates right now.”’s tool, which offers a view on how investors look at the situation, doesn’t see a rate move before spring at the earliest.

Utilities, healthcare and technology shares were leading the market. The weakest S&P 500 sector was energy with crude down 48 cents to $55.06 a barrel. also moved lower. The Treasury yield fell to 1.782% from Tuesday’s 1.835%.

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