Nasdaq settles at fresh record after dovish testimony by Fed Chairman Powell

The Nasdaq COMP, +0.75% index closed at a record on Wednesday’s close, while the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 briefly topped the 3,000 milestone for the first time, after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell indicated interest rates cuts may be imminent in the face of some weakening economic data.

How are the major benchmarks faring?

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.75% gained 60.80 points, or 0.75%, closing out the session at record 8,202.53. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.29% added 76.71 points, or 0.29%, at 26,860.20, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.45% closed 13.44 points higher, or 0.45%, to 2,993.07.

At session highs, the Dow rose 199.96 points, or 0.7%, to 26,983.45, while the S&P added 22.26 points, or 0.8% to 3,002.89 and the Nasdaq advanced 86.87 points, or 1.1% to 8.228.60. Those intraday highs marked new records for all three benchmarks.

Check out: S&P 500 index tops 3000 for first time — here’s what it means and how the stock market got here

What’s driving the market?

Investor sentiment turned slightly less bullish in the wake of the new intra-day index highs after the release of Federal Reserve minutes from its June meeting, which showed a Fed ready to act to support the U.S. economy.

“You don’t want too much bad news, where you think the economy is faltering,” said Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading, in an interview with MarketWatch.

“You see the Fed minutes and think maybe things are a little bit worse,” he said. “Maybe people are getting a little nervous about corporate earnings.”

Still, stocks broadly rallied after the publication of Powell’s remarks before the House Financial Services Committed in which the Fed Chairman emphasized rising risks to the U.S. economy from trade policy and slowing global growth, as well as

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