Stocks rose sharply on Thursday as central bankers from around the world gathered for the much-anticipated US Federal Reserve economic symposium in Jackson Hole.
The S&P 500 jumped 1.4 percent after the index snapped a three-day losing streak in the previous session, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 320 points, or about 1%.
Investors were watching the Wyoming Fed meeting for clues from central bank officials about the pace and scale of their plans to raise interest rates through the end of this year, as activity appears to be slowing in some aspects of the US economy.
The most closely watched part of the meeting is set for Friday, with Chairman Jerome Powell scheduled to make remarks that could indicate whether the central bank’s next policy announcement in September will lead to another 75 basis point hike or a smaller increase from 0.50%.
“The broad expectation is that Jerome Powell will continue his anti-inflation narrative while disabusing markets of the idea that the Fed has taken a dovish turn,” David Norris, partner and head of US credit at TwentyFour Asset Management, said in a note. “Markets expect a more dovish statement from Powell along the lines of a ‘higher for longer’ narrative on interest rates.”
Still, Federal Reserve policy is expected to be dictated by economic data on a meeting-by-meeting basis.
In Thursday, the BEA data show economic activity contracted less than originally forecast in the second quarter. The second estimate of second-quarter GDP showed the economy shrank 0.6 percent year-on-year in the quarter, down from the 0.9 percent reported at the end of last month.
Labor market data also showed a decline initial unemployment claims, with about 243,000 people filing for unemployment insurance last week, down from 250,000 the previous week. The previous week’s data was also revised up to 245,000 from 250,000.
Elsewhere in the markets, Peloton Interactive (PTON) was in the spotlight Thursday after the fitness equipment maker announced operating loss of over $1 billion for the fiscal fourth quarter as revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations. The results sent shares tumbling nearly 19%, erasing nearly all gains after shares jumped 20% on Wednesday following the deal to sell Amazon’s fitness equipment business.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s (TSLA) shares closed little changed after the electric vehicle giant carried out the 3-for-1 stock split approved by shareholders earlier this month after the bell on Wednesday. The move comes exactly two years after the 5-for-1 stock split and aims to attract more retail investors.
Crude oil futures held close to $95 a barrel. Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia proposed the OPEC+ alliance may lead to possible production cutbacks.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc