Wall St notches all-time highs on rate cut optimism
All three major US stock indexes posted record closing highs on Friday as firm expectations for an interest-rate cut from the Federal Reserve continued to propel shares while investors awaited next week's kickoff of the corporate earnings season.
The S&P 500 closed above the 3,000 level for the first time, with the industrial, consumer discretionary and materials sectors each posting gains of at least 1 percent.
In his two-day testimony before Congress, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the US economy was still under threat from disappointing factory activity, tame inflation and a simmering trade war and that the central bank stood ready to "act as appropriate."
"Clearly his messaging was far more directive in terms of what the Fed is going to do at the next meeting than just a vague promise to keep the economic expansion intact," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. "That has brought the market to new highs."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 243.95 points, or 0.9 percent, to 27,332.03, the S&P 500 gained 13.86 points, or 0.46 percent, to 3,013.77 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48.10 points, or 0.59 percent, to 8,244.14.
For the week, the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent, the Dow added 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1 percent.