Wall Street opens higher after Powell's remarks boost rate cut hopes

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U.S. stock futures fell on Wednesday, as investors eyed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks later in the day for clues on the central bank’s interest rate policy direction.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid 10 Jul 2019 07:50PM(Updated: 10 Jul 2019 11:56PM) Share this content

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REUTERS: The benchmark S&P 500 briefly crossed the 3,000 points mark for the first time on Wednesday, as bets for a sharp interest rate cut later this month were boosted by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s dovish comments.

The Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrials also hit all-time highs after Powell said the central bank stands ready to “act as appropriate” to support record U.S. economic growth.

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Gains of near 1per cent each in Amazon.com, Apple Inc and Facebook Inc also lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P.

“Investors already got what they wanted when Powell’s statement was released. They got news that the Fed was ready to cut (interest rates) in July,” said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

“What the bulls are really hoping for is that this is just a growth scare. That the Fed steps in with an insurance cut in July and that’s it, so the economy can continue at its ‘muddle-along’ pace of growth.”

Alluding to the strong jobs data that tempered hopes of a sharp rate cut at the end of the month, Powell said the report did not fundamentally change the central bank’s outlook and that there is important economic data before the meeting.

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Traders raised the chances of a 50 basis point reduction to 23per cent following the comments, according

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