By Clive McKeef
“We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2% objective,” Powell said.
Powell’s testimony “suggests that the bar to raise rates is higher than to lower them, even if easier policy is no longer the default option,” said Sal Guatieri, BMO Capital Markets senior economist.
In U.S. economic data, the U.S. federal government’s budget deficit in October rose 34% from a year earlier to $134.5 billion, putting the U.S. on course to top the $1 trillion mark in fiscal 2020 for the first time in eight years, or nearly 5% of gross domestic product.
In other data, U.S. inflation was slightly higher than expected in October. The consumer price index was up 0.4% during the month, as Americans paid higher prices for gasoline, medical treatment and recreation in October, but overall, inflation remained stable. For the year the cost of living rose 1.8%.
<STRONG>Stocks to Watch</STRONG>
Disney /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS +1.82% shares led the Dow up, gaining 7% after the media giant said its Disney+ streaming service had more than 10 million sign-ups already.
Nike /zigman2/quotes/203439053/composite NKE +0.17% will stop selling sneakers and apparel directly on Amazon.com Inc., /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +1.36% the sportswear giant said.
Newspaper publisher McClatchy Co. /zigman2/quotes/203508875/composite MNI -3.63% saw shares tumble more than 15% after a third-quarter loss and comments about a “liquidity challenge.”
An earnings report is expected after the bell Wednesday from tech heavyweight Cisco /zigman2/quotes/209509471/composite CSCO +0.63% .
What are other markets doing?
Gold prices posted the first gain in five sessions on Wednesday, with uncertainty over the outlook for a U.S.-China trade deal and the first day of public impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump helping to support haven demand for the precious metal. Gold for December delivery on Comex rose $9.60, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,463.30 an ounce,
Oil futures ended higher on Wednesday, with prices recouping most of the losses they suffered over the past two trading sessions. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery tacked on 32 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $57.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The 10-year Treasury yield fell 4 basis points, the most in more than a week, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -1.72% trading around 1.87%.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.48% fell 0.3%.
Earlier in Asia overnight Tuesday, the China CSI /zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed XX:000300 -3.10% slipped and Hong Kong’sHang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -2.82% fell 1.8%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.71% slipped 0.9%.