[Wednesday, November 28, 2018]
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said all the right things today and bulls jumped on the news, pushing markets broadly higher. Futures were up before the open ahead of the latest take on interest rates and a benign read on Q3 GDP, which came in just under forecast at 3.5% Then in a speech before the Economic Club of New York Powell took a noticeably more dovish stance on rates. The Fed head noted rates remain low by historical standards but are just below the range of neutral estimates. With the economy near max employment and prices stable, and a forecast for solid growth and full employment, the group will remain on plan with announced hikes and stay vigilant in keeping risks at bay. Markets liked the tone and less hawkish stance with buyers jumping on the news and stocks never looking back, ratcheting up to close at session highs. The S&P 500 added +61.62 to 2,743.79, the Dow gained +617.70 to 25,366.43 and the Nasdaq Composite jumped +208.89 to 7,291.59 or a nearly +35% The Russell 2000 overcame a midday swoon into negative territory to close higher, up +37.53 to 1,530.38. Technical analysts believe any sustainable recovery from the recent drop needs to include the small-caps. Major groups were all higher save Utilities. Technologies and Consumer Discretionary led the day, both well above +3% on the session. Among the commodities crude prices slipped while gold gained. Treasury yields were mixed along the curve. Volatility came in, the VIX Index dropping to settle at 18.49.