US stocks rise ahead of Fed chairman’s speech

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 24,932.25, up 0.7 per cent. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Nov 28 — Wall Street stocks rose early today ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that will be scrutinized for signals about future interest rate hikes.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 24,932.25, up 0.7 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.5 per cent to 2,695.35, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.6 per cent to 7,127.89.

Powell, who will address the New York Economic Club, is widely expected to oversee another interest rate hike next month. But market watchers are looking for clues on whether the US central bank expects to stick to a plan to keep lifting rates in 2019, especially in light of stock market volatility in recent weeks.

The speech comes a day after President Donald Trump reiterated criticism of Powell, telling The Washington Post he was “not even a little bit happy” with Powell.

Trump picked Powell to take over the Fed at the start of the year, opting against renominating former Chair Janet Yellen in a break from precedent involving Fed appointments.

In economic news, US growth came in at a solid 3.5 per cent in the third quarter, according to the latest government data.

Tiffany slumped 9.5 per cent after reporting a drop in third-quarter profits of 5.3 per cent to US$94.9 million and revenues slightly below analyst expectations.

Salesforce rose 5.3 per cent as it raised its forecast for 2019 and 2020 sales following a 26 per cent rise in third-quarter revenues to US$3.4 billion. — AFP

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