Fed Chair Powell signals interest-rate cut, boosting stocks

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday suggested in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee that the central bank could cut interest rates soon to boost the economy.

The economy is strong, especially the job market, but President Trump’s trade war with China and signs of a global slowdown could threaten America’s record-long economic expansion, Powell told lawmakers, indicating the Fed might cut rates in late July.

Powell’s comments sent U.S. stocks rising, with the S&P 500 briefly rising above 3,000 for the first time.

The Fed hasn’t cut rates since reducing them to near zero to help the economy recover from the 2008-2009 financial crisis. U.S. stock index futures made further gains early Thursday ahead of Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.

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