Stocks rose for the first time in three days on Thursday, with the three major indexes shaking off earlier declines to push into positive territory.
The Dow gained nearly 200 points, or 0.6%, after dropping by as many as 350 points earlier in the session. The Nasdaq higher after shedding 2% on Wednesday amid another day of selling for technology shares. U.S. crude oil prices gave back some gains after spiking 5% on Wednesday, though a massive container blocking passage in the Suez Canal continued to plug the significant trade artery for another day, weighing on oil supplies.
Traders digested additional remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who spoke on NPR’s Morning Edition Thursday morning. Powell doubled down in his assertion that the Fed remained strongly committed to targeting 2% average inflation over time, and said that any eventual pullback in Fed support would be done “gradually over time, and with great transparency.”
However, some investors have been skeptical that the Fed will resist adjusting its monetary policy positioning in the face of higher inflation this year. Though Powell and other Federal Open Market Committee members have advocated a “patient” stance that favors leaving accommodative policies in place during the recovery.