Here are the key events taking place on Wednesday that could impact trading.
FED CHAIR POWELL TESTIMONY: Investors await further commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell when he testifies before Congress on both Wednesday and Thursday. Both investors and policymakers are eager to see the June print for consumer inflation expectations, due Friday. At his news conference last week, Powell said the preliminary reading of 5.4% was “eye catching.” Investors and analysts say they expect more pain ahead in the markets, though some are still willing to wade in and buy stocks at a discount after a selloff that has dragged the S&P 500 down 21% this year. Many pointed to Tuesday’s recovery as a bounce off last week’s drawdown.
INFLATION PREDICTIONS: Government leaders and officials in recent days have tried to assuage an increasingly jittery nation that an economic slowdown isn’t guaranteed. President Biden on Monday said he spoke with Lawrence Summers, a former Treasury secretary, and reiterated that he doesn’t see a recession as inevitable. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard also said the economy appears on track for more expansion this year. Still, many market watchers are bracing for an economic downturn. In a note Monday, a team of Goldman Sachs economists increased their outlook for a U.S. recession, citing concerns that the Fed will feel compelled to respond forcefully to inflation data, even if economic activity slows. The team now sees a 30% probability of entering a recession over the next year, versus 15% previously, and a 25% probability of entering a recession in the second year if one is avoided in the first.
U.S. STOCKS GAIN: U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday off their worst week since March 2020, offering investors a reprieve from a recent stretch of whipsaw trading that had sent stocks and cryptocurrencies falling. The S&P 500 gained 89.95 points, or 2.4%, to 3764.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 641.47, or 2.1%, to 30530.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 270.95 points, or 2.5%, to 11069.30. The U.S. stock market was closed Monday for the Juneteenth federal holiday.
CRYPTO CLAWS BACK: Bitcoin rose alongside other cryptocurrencies, continuing to claw back some losses after a bruising weekend. Bitcoin was about 18% higher from a recent low of $17,601.58 reached Saturday, according to CoinDesk data.
HOME PRICES: The average price of an existing home surged more than 16% from a year ago to a record $407,600 in May. A combination of record-high prices and soaring mortgage rates is hammering the housing industry, with sales of existing homes falling for the fourth month in a row to 5.41 million annualized, the slowest pace since June 2020.