Stocks rose Thursday after a choppy session as Wall Street weighed comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 200 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite eached climbed about 0.6%.
Here's how the market settled on Thursday:
S&P 500 Index
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Nasdaq Composite Index
Thursday's moves follow a rebound rally on Wednesday, in which all three major averages logged gains over 1%.
In focus throughout the session, Powell said Thursday morning that the central bank remains committed to fighting inflation, signaling that a pause in interest rate hikes or a pivot from the Fed's current aggressive course, is not coming in the near-term.
"History cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy," Powell said at the Cato Institute's 40th Annual Monetary Conference in Washington D.C. on Thursday. "I can assure you that my colleagues and I are strongly committed to this project and we will keep at it until the job is done."
Powell's remarks were his final public statements before the central bank's next policy meeting on Sept. 21, where another 75 basis point rate hike is expected by most market participants. Earlier in the summer, investors had hoped that policymakers would slow the pace of their aggressive campaign this fall as inflation showed some signs of peaking, but strong economic data for the labor market and manufacturing have soured those expectations.
Earlier on Thursday, the European Central Bank issued a 0.75 percentage point rate hike and signaled further need for more aggressive action to combat inflation.
"This major step frontloads the transition from the prevailing highly accommodative level of policy rates towards levels that will ensure the timely return of inflation to the ECB's 2% medium-term target," the ECB said in a statement.
Elsewhere, initial jobless claims declined to their lowest level since May. Filings for first-time unemployment insurance totaled 222,000 for the week ended Sept. 3, according to the Labor Department, below expectations for 240,000.
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Looking ahead, market participants will focus on speeches from multiple Fed officials on Friday for clues on the central bank's next moves.