Stocks – S&P Hits New Highs After Fed's Latest Rate Cut

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Investing.com – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said monetary policy is “in a good place,” and investors agreed Wednesday, pushing stocks higher and the S&P 500 to new intraday and closing highs.

The set a new intraday high of 3,050.10 and finished up 0.33% at just under 3,047, its second closing high in three days.

The jumped 0.43%, with the up 0.33% and the index up 0.44%.

The market moved up during Powell’s news conference after the Fed decided to cut interest rates for the third time in three meetings. But the Fed wants to wait before making another move. The federal funds rate was cut to 1.5% to 1.75% from 1.75% to 2% in September.

After the close, Apple (NASDAQ:) shares were up 2% after hours after reporting $3.03 a share in fiscal-fourth quarter earnings, ahead of street guidance of $2.83 a share. It also offered decent but typically conservative guidance for the first quarter, its most important quarter of the year. Shares had been were flat at the close.

Before the Apple report, Facebook (NASDAQ:) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:) shares were rising in the after-hours market. Both companies reported beating revenue and earnings estimates in the third quarter.

At the same time, Twitter Inc (NYSE:) announced it will no longer accept political advertising. Shares were lower after hours. The move was in contrast to contrast to Facebook, which is taking a hands-off approach to political advertising.

In his news conference remarks, Powell said the domestic economy is growing steadily, powered by strong job growth and rising consumer spending. The weak aspects of the economy were slipping business investment spending and falling exports, exacerbated by the ongoing U.S. China trade fight.

He and his Fed colleagues don’t see the economic prospects changing much in the foreseeable future, although he promised the Fed would act to support the economy in a crisis.

At the same time, he pronounced himself unworried the jobs market could get too hot. Unemployment is at multi-year lows, but he said, “We’re not thinking about raising rates right now.”

Investing.com’s tool, which offers a view on how investors look at the situation, doesn’t see a rate move before spring at the earliest.

Utilities, healthcare, real estate and technology shares led the market. The weakest sector was energy with crude down 48 cents to $55.06 a barrel. crude fell 98 cents to $60.61.

also moved $6 lower to $1,496.70 an ounce. The Treasury yield fell to 1.782% from Tuesday’s 1.835%.

General Electric (NYSE:), mobile navigation company Garmin, managed care company Centene (NYSE:) and fiber-laser-maker IPG Photonics were the top S&P 500 performers on the day.

Logistics company CH Robinson Worldwide (NASDAQ:), drug distributor McKesson (NYSE:) fast-food company Yum! Brands (NYSE:), Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:) were among the biggest laggards.

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