US stocks trade mixed as Powell reiterates in testimony that inflation will pass

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US stocks trade mixed as Powell reiterates in testimony that inflation will pass
A trader blows bubble gum during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 1, 2019, in New York City. Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images
  • US stocks ended higher on Wednesday after Fed Jerome Powell reiterated the view that inflation will pass.
  • Bank earnings continued, with Bank of America and Citigroup reporting second-quarter results.
  • Bitcoin, lumber, and oil slipped, while gold rose.

US stocks rallied on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that inflation will pass.

The benchmark S&P 500 index scaled close to all-time highs, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also inched up. The Nasdaq composite fell slightly.

The yield on the US 10-year Treasury slipped 6.1 basis points to 1.353%.

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The Fed chief said the US economic recovery still has further to go before the central bank considers tapering its asset purchases, according to prepared remarks ahead of his House Financial Services Committee testimony.

Powell said the US job market "is still a ways off" from the progress the Fed hopes to achieve, suggesting it would stick to its highly accommodative monetary policy even in the face of data showing inflation is on the rise.

Powell on Wednesday presented the central bank's semiannual monetary policy report to Congress and took questions from lawmakers.

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Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. close on Wednesday:

Stocks have scaled to record highs in the past weeks as economic data continuously point to a strong recovery on top of robust corporate earnings.

Bank earnings continued Wednesday with Bank of America reporting revenue that fell short of Wall Street's forecasts but blew past net income predictions.

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Citigroup meanwhile posted earnings that came in above analyst estimates as the banking giant's stock trading offset a miss in fixed income.

Big movers include Oatly, which fell 6.1% to an all-time low of $19.40 after short seller Spruce Point Capital Management accused the oat milk company of misleading investors on multiple fronts and overstating its revenue.

Peloton shares also dipped by 5.4% to $113.33 following a rating downgrade to neutral at Wedbush.

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In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, dogecoin, and cardano's ada token hit their lowest price in three weeks before recovering slightly. Ether touched a two-week low.

Powell in his testimony challenged the need for cryptocurrencies if the central bank were to issue its own digital currency.

"You wouldn't need stablecoins, you wouldn't need cryptocurrencies, if you had a digital US currency," the Fed chief said.

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Oil prices slid after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reached a compromise allowing the latter to boost its output, Reuters reported.

West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 3.20%, to $72.84 oil per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, fell 2.56%, to $74.53 barrel.

Gold edged higher for the second straight session, rising 1.08% to $1,825.56 per ounce.

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Lumber continued its five-day slide to at $642 per thousand board feet.

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