The performance of US stock indices varied during trading today, Wednesday, after the markets absorbed the statements of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the release of economic data.
And government data revealed that the purchasing managers’ index of US manufacturing activity recorded a level of 62.6 points last month, while analysts’ expectations indicated a reading of 61.5 points.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index for the US service sector fell to 64.8 points in May, compared to expectations of a decline to 70 points from 70.4 points.
In his testimony before the US Congress yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted that the central bank will adopt a patient approach and stick to its monetary policy for a while before tightening it by raising interest rates.
Powell emphasized that the Fed has to wait and be patient before taking any step in response to the recent positive economic data.
He added that the rise in the inflation rate came as a result of the increase in the prices of used cars and trucks, which resulted in an increase in economic activity.
In the crude market, the futures contracts for US “NYMEX” crude for August delivery rose 0.2%, or 23 cents, and closed at $73.08 a barrel, with the highest price at $74.2 and the lowest price at $72.8.
Brent crude futures for August delivery rose 0.5%, or 38 cents, and the crude closed at $75.19 a barrel, with the highest price at $76.02 and the lowest at $74.7.
At the conclusion of trading, the “Dow Jones” index fell 0.2% (equivalent to 71 points) to 33874 points, and recorded the highest level at 34009 points and the lowest level at 33869 points.
The “S&P 500” decreased by 0.1% (equivalent to 4 points) to 4241 points, and recorded the highest level at 4256 points and the lowest level at 4241 points.
Nasdaq rose 0.1% (equivalent to 18 points) to 14,271 points, and recorded the highest level at 14,317 points and the lowest level at 142461 points.