STOCKS CLIMB AS POWELL PITCHES FOR ECONOMIC SUPPORT
US equities reversed losses and turned positive as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reaffirmed his view that the economy needs support. Government bond yields jumped along with oil prices, Lu Wang and Kamaron Leach reported for Bloomberg News early on February 25, 2021.
Energy and industrial companies led gains in the S&P 500 Index, offsetting weakness for tech stocks. Banks advanced, sending an industry gauge to its highest since 2007, after U.S. regulators said Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.
Tesla Inc. gained after Ark Investment Management’s Cathie Wood said she bought shares during this week’s selloff. US 10-year yields touched 1.43%, the highest since February 2020.
Powell, testifying before lawmakers, said the US economy still had a long way to go to reach maximum employment and the Fed’s inflation target, a signal he wants to remain accommodative.
Equity investors are weighing predictions for a post-pandemic surge in economic activity and corporate earnings with concerns that higher interest rates could dent the appeal of stocks.
Nasdaq 100 briefly dipped below its short-term moving average Tuesday. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 climbed. Travel shares and construction companies were among the top performers.
Meanwhile, Asian stocks tumbled, led by a retreat in Hong Kong after the city announced its first stamp-duty increase on stock trades since 1993.
Mainland-based funds sold a record $2.6 billion worth of Hong Kong stocks through exchange links with Shenzhen and Shanghai. The Hang Seng Index closed down 3%, the biggest retreat in nine months.
Bitcoin climbed back toward $50,000. The rebound follows a tough week for the digital currency after skeptical comments from Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
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