US stocks closed higher amid the Fed’s signals of gentler monetary policy

New York: US stocks closed sharply higher, finishing the week on a high note, after tech stocks surged, job market retained strength and US Federal Reserve chair hinted at slower monetary tightening.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday closed 746.94 points, or 3.29 percent, dramatically higher to 23,433.16. The S&P 500 jumped up 85.05 points, or 3.43 percent, to 2,531.94, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index surged 275.35 points or 4.26 percent to 6,738.86.

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Fed chairman Jerome Powell pacified growing market fears subsequent to Apple’s slash of quarterly revenue forecast on Thursday, which incurred steep losses in the three major indexes.

Powell stressed Fed officials are patient and keeping a close eye on the voices of the financial market, calling Fed policy as flexible and clung to real-time economic developments.

“As always, there is no preset path for policy,” Powell said, along with his predecessors Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta on Friday.

“And particularly with muted inflation readings that we’ve seen coming in, we will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves,” he noted.

He added that the US central bank would not hesitate to adjust its balance sheet reduction plan if it causes problems in the markets. That means altering its massive bond-purchasing program initially implemented in late 2008 to rescue the collapsing US financial system.

“If we ever came to the conclusion that any aspect of our plans” was causing a problem, he said, “we wouldn’t hesitate to change it.”

Rebounds in the tech sector continued in the afternoon trading session, eroding some of the deep slumps of US stocks bore previously this week.

All of the 11 primary sectors rallied in this week’s final trading day, with the information technology sector up 4.4 percent and the communication services up over 4 percent, leading the winners.

On the economic front, stronger-than-expected employment data helped regain steam for the US economy.

Job gains occurred in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.

Yet the unemployment rate went up to 3.9 percent, which was the highest level since July 2018.


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