S&P 500, Nasdaq open with records as Fed plays down rate hike

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq opened Thursday with new highs after the Federal Reserve played down the possibility of a rate hike to ease rising inflation.

The Nasdaq added 41 points, or 0.26%, to post 15,852.56 points at 9.41 a.m. EDT. The tech-heavy will post its ninth day of increase in a row if it closes in positive territory.

The S&P 500 rose 8 points, or 0.16%, to 4,668.58, as the index was heading for its sixth consecutive daily increase.

The Dow Jones, however, was down 51 points, or 0.14%, to 36,105 after hitting an all-time high of 36,178.51 in the previous session.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell was dovish about the possibility of a rate hike after the conclusion of the central bank’s two-day meeting Wednesday.

“We don’t think it’s a good time to raise interest rates because we want to see the labor market heal further,” he said.

Amid the dovish stance, the VIX volatility index, known as the fear index, decreased 2.1% to 14.78. The yield on 10-year US Treasury notes was also down 1.3% to 1.558%.

The US dollar index, on the other hand, was up 0.39% to 94.23.

After losing more than 4% on Wednesday, oil prices bounced back with a 2% recovery before the critical meeting of OPEC and its allies. International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $83.97, up 2.4%, while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 2.3% to $82.73.

Precious metals also reversed course with gold rising 1.3% to $1,793 per ounce and silver adding 1.7% to $23.91.

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