Jul 17, 2018
Wall Street at Close Report Markets I MarketWatch
U.S. stock on Tuesday closed firmly higher and the technology-heavy Nasdaq notched a fresh record after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the U.S. central bank would continue raising benchmark rates due the the health of the economy but would execute its monetary-policy strategy at a prudent pace. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.22% closed up 0.2% at 25,119 (on a preliminary basis), marking its fourth straight positive finish in succession. The blue-benchmark's gains were buoyed by a rally in component Johnson & Johnson JNJ, +3.54% which reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that were better than expected. Shares of the consumer-goods company gained 3.5% and contributed the lion's share of the equity index's Tuesday advance. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.40% closed up 0.4% at 2,809, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.63% booked an all-time closing high, with a gain of 0.6% at 7,855. Providing testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee, Powell said the "best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal-funds rate for now." He will appear before a House committee on Wednesday. Meanwhile, economic reports supported the upbeat mood amid second-quarter corporate results that have mostly come out better than expected. Industrial production rose 0.6% in June to more than offset a similarly sized decline in May, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. That was a tick above the MarketWatch forecast.