The market lost some ground after an auction of long-term U.S. government bonds failed to drum up strong demand. That pulled bond prices lower, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to 2.13% from 2.06% late Wednesday, a big move.
Stocks have been trending higher for much of the week as investors have grown more confident that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates for the first time in a decade as soon as the end of this month.
The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,999.91 and has set three straight record highs. The Dow gained 0.8% to 27,088.08. The Nasdaq composite gave up an early gain, sliding 0.1% to 8,196.04, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 0.5% to 1,557.92.
Stocks rose from the get-go Thursday as investors looked ahead to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifying before a Congressional committee for the second straight day.
Powell stressed that the Fed is prepared to cut interest rates to support the economy, raising hopes that the first reduction in its key policy rate in a decade could happen later this month.
He noted that “uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.”
New government data released Thursday showed consumer prices rose in June from a year earlier. The bump in inflation wasn’t expected to give the Fed reason to reconsider whether it should lower rates, if necessary. Inflation has remained muted through much of the economy’s 10-year expansion, which Powell has said cited as a justification for potentially lowering rates.
“With the latest inflation data uptick led by volatile categories, equity investors quickly brushed it aside and continued to relish in the afterglow of a far more dovish than expected Chair Powell as