Dow ends more than 600 points higher after Fed's Powell says rates near neutral

Stocks ended sharply higher Wednesday, rallying after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in an eagerly awaited speech, said interest rates were “just below” the range of estimates of the neutral level that neither slows nor speeds economic growth. The remarks were interpreted by investors as a sign that the end of the rate-hike cycle may be nearer than previously indicated, though economists argued that such an interpretation reads too much into Powell’s remarks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +2.50% ended around 618 points higher, up 2.5%, near 25,367, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 SPX, +2.30% advanced 2.3% to around 2,744. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +2.95% finished 2.9% higher near 7,291.59.

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