Stocks surged on Wednesday. The Dow climbed 617 points to 25,366, while the S&P 500 gained 61 points to 2,743. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 208 points to 7,291.
The Dow had its best session in eight months while the dollar slumped following reassuring remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The rally started near mid-session when Powell suggested interest rates are “just below” a level considered neutral, which was perceived as a dovish signal by investors. On the data front, an update on third-quarter GDP showed the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized pace of 3.5%, unchanged from the previous release. A separate report showed new home sales unexpectedly fell 8.9% in October to the lowest level since March 2016.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory with Utilities representing the only group in the red. The recently battered “FAANG” cohort paced the gains, adding more than $100 billion in market cap on the session. In earnings news, Salesforce.com climbed 10.3% to $140.80 after topping analyst profit projections while Tiffany & Co. dipped 11.8% to $92.54 after missing revenue estimates.
Breadth was positive on issues by 7:1 on the NYSE and 4:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE trading volume was nearly 4 billion shares.
Treasuries were mixed, with the yield curve steepening following Powell’s comments. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note finished unchanged at 3.06%. In commodities, WTI crude retreated 2.3% to $50.38/barrel after data showed U.S. crude inventories advanced for the 10th consecutive week. COMEX gold added 0.6% to $1,220.30/ounce amid a steep drop in the dollar.