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Markets

As Jackson Hole looms, Wall Street opens higher

  • S&P 500 climbed 0.8 percent to 4,475.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.0 percent to 14,865.29
Published August 23, 2021

NEW YORK: US stocks opened higher on Monday, continuing Friday's bounceback from a soft patch, as traders looked ahead to the annual Federal Reserve conference later this week.

The Fed's easy money policies have led to a surge in equities over the past year-and-a-half even as Covid-19 has caused widespread economic suffering, but stocks have been buffeted recently amid fears the fast-spreading Delta variant will harm the recovery.

Central bankers will gather virtually late this week for the symposium usually held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and traders are looking forward to the marquee speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday, where he could provide details on plans to pull back on the massive stimulus efforts.

Major Wall Street indices continued Friday's gains following a losing week, with the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing 0.6 percent to 35,349.28 about 30 minutes into trading.

Wall St slips after jobless claims, inflation data

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.8 percent to 4,475.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.0 percent to 14,865.29.

News reports that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen supports giving Powell as second term as Fed chief also was positive for markets, analysts said.

Her recommendation on the fate of the position she once held is likely to carry weight with President Joe Biden. Powell's four-year term Fed chair is up in February.

Just after markets opened, US regulators granted the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine full approval, sending both companies shares higher. Pfizer rose 2.4 percent, and BioNTech surged 9.3 percent.

Beyond Jackson Hole, traders this week are looking forward to personal consumption and expenditures data due out Friday, which will provide another read on the magnitude of price increases in the United States as its economy bounces back from pandemic-induced closures in 2020.

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