Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks climb as strong economic data lifts sentiment ahead of Powell speech

by | Aug 25, 2022 | Stock Market

U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday with the main benchmarks headed for back-to-back gains following a batch of strong economic data as investors waited to hear from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. How stocks are trading
S&P 500
SPX,
+0.61%
rose 18 points, or 0.6%, to 4,163.

Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.15%
advanced 22 points, or 0.1%, to 32,984.

Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.89%
advanced 93 points, or 0.8%, to 12,526.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.18%, to 32969, the S&P 500 increased 12 points, or 0.29%, to 4141, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 50 points, or 0.41%, to 12432. The S&P 500 is up 12.9% from its mid-June low but remains down 13.1% for the year to date.

What’s driving markets U.S. stocks were mostly higher on Thursday following revised readings on the performance of the U.S. and German economies during the second quarter, along with news of more fiscal stimulus measures out of China. However, low trading volume was contributing to exaggerated swings intraday. A revised reading on second-quarter gross domestic product showed Germany’s economy grew by 0.1% in the second quarter, which was better than economists had expected. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the first revision of second-quarter GDP figures showed the economy shrank by just 0.6%, better than the 0.9% contraction from the original reading. See: GDP shrank at 0.6% annual pace in second quarter, but it wasn’t all bad news Eric Diton, president and managing director at the Wealth Alliance, said U.S. stocks had good reason to celebrate the latest reading on second-quarter GDP. “The underlying data is not showing a recession, and that’s pretty ideal for this market because this market is praying for a soft landing,” Diton said. Stocks are also contending with low trading volume, which helped to exaggerate swings in the market. Wednesday’s session saw just 8.8 billion shares traded across the various Wall Street exchanges. That was the lowest volume so far this year and a decline of 26% compared with the daily average for 2022, according to Dow Jones data. Market strategists blamed the low trading volume on seasonal factors, as well as the reluctance among some investors to make bold bets before Powell speaks on Friday at the Kansas City Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Investors will dissect Powell’s comments for clues about the direction of Fed policy, an issue that has greatly determined market traject …

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