The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 27,000 for the first time on Thursday as the top three equity benchmarks traded mixed on Wall Street after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled the central bank was still moving towards an interest rate cut due to trade uncertainties.
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Following several days of uneven trading activity over concerns that the Federal Reserve would withhold moving forward on the expected cuts, investors were optimistic after Powell’s remarks that the central bank’s outlook for the U.S. economy is weighed down by trade tensions.
Many Federal Open Markets Committee participants “saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened,” he said in prepared testimony for the House Financial Services Committee.
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Powell was back on Capitol Hill for a second round of testimony on Thursday, this time before the Senate. Powell also said a strong June jobs report did not change the central bank’s economic outlook or policy on interest rates.
Meanwhile, investors are eagerly awaiting a July 31 policy meeting to see if the Federal Reserve moves forward with the rate cuts.
In economic news, initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended July 6, the lowest level since April, the Labor Department said.
Shares of technology companies reacted after the French government on Thursday approved a new tax on those firms amid a probe into the measure by the U.S. government. The 3 percent tax on companies with roughly $845 million in global revenue and $281 million in digital sales in France will take effect retroactively to the start of 2019.