US equities started the day higher. The Dow ( opened 0.4%, or 102 points, higher, while the )S&P 500 ( climbed 0.2%. The )Nasdaq Composite ( opened 0.2% up. )
The Nasdaq closed at a new all-time high of 8,203 points on Wednesday, surpassing a record from last week.
The S&P 500 is on track to climb to a fresh all-time higher on Thursday, having ended just some three points below the record it set on July 3.
The Dow could also hit a new all-time high, after it closed 0.4% below last week’s record on Wednesday.
The market shrugged off slightly higher-than-expected consumer price data, released earlier. Inflation rose 1.6% year-over-year in June, as expected, but core inflation rose slightly to 2.1%, versus the expected 2%. Rising inflation doesn’t bode well for the interest rate cut the market is hoping for.
Expectations for a quarter-percentage-point cut at the Fed’s July 31 meeting are 80%, with the remaining 20% hoping for a 50 basis point decrease, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.
In remarks before the Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Powell noted that inflation continued to be below the central bank’s 2% target.
Powell also cited uncertainties about trade and the global economy as threats to US economic growth during his Wednesday testimony. The market read his comments to mean that an interest rate cut could come at the end of the month.
In other data, jobless claims for the week ended July 6 came in slightly lower than expected.
At 10 am ET, Powell will appear before the Senate Banking Committee, where his two-day bi-annual testimony will conclude.