Traders Take in Powell Speech, Stocks Move Higher

Stocks edged higher on Thursday as Wall Street parsed commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell while monitoring a key milestone for a closely followed bond yield.

The Dow Jones Industrials registered higher 89.66 points to pause for lunch at 33,754.74.

The much broader index moved higher 15.66 points to 4,330.26.

The NASDAQ index gained 62.67 points to 13,376.97.

Electric vehicle juggernaut Tesla slid more than 9% after the company missed analyst expectations on earnings and revenue in the third quarter. CEO Elon Musk also warned that the company’s Cybertruck will not produce much positive cash flow more than a year after production starts.

Netflix shares, meanwhile, jumped more than 15% after the streaming giant posted third-quarter earnings that beat estimates. The company got a boost from strong ad-tier subscriptions.

Beyond technology stocks, AT&T climbed more than 6% after beating expectations for the third quarter, while investment firm Blackstone slid 6% on a weaker-than-expected report.

Powell said inflation was still too high and would likely require lower economic growth. But he also noted recent data showed progress toward slowing prices.

“Incoming data over recent months show ongoing progress toward both of our dual mandate goals —maximum employment and stable prices,” he said.

Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims came in under 200,000, another sign of continued strength in the economy despite higher interest rates.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury restrengthened, lowering yields to Wednesday’s 4.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices pointed higher 32 cents to $88.64 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices eked higher $1.40 to $1,969.70.

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