with a highly anticipated set of remarks set for Thursday morning.
FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) posted their highest-ever closing levels. Salesforce (CRM), fresh off a quarter of record sales and the announcement of its inclusion in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, surged 26%.
Looking ahead, market participants are gearing up to receive remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the central bank’s annual monetary policy symposium. The event – virtual this year instead of at its usual venue in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – will set the stage for Powell to discuss bankers’ current economic outlook given the coronavirus pandemic, and provide an update on the Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Framework Review.
“deliberately vague” framework to bump inflation closer to their 2% target. The review captured about two years’ worth of research, discussions and Fed Listens events, primarily serving to inform the Fed’s approach to inflation following years of core inflationary metrics undershooting goals.
“We believe that the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] is poised to deliver important new information about the forthcoming conclusion of the inflation framework review, and that information will convey that the Committee is on the precipice of shifting to a flexible average inflation targeting approach and, recognizing the challenges and drawbacks of specifying a fixed lookback period, the FOMC will aim for near 2% inflation, on average, over the business cycle,” Morgan Stanley economist Ellen Zetner said in a note Wednesday.
“The framework opens up another runway for the FOMC to deliver new forward guidance in December, in our view, and that guidance will likely indicate that the Fed will maintain interest rates in the current target range until inflation sustainably reaches 2% in the context of a broad labor market recovery that is consistent with the FOMC’s maximum employment goal,” Zetner added.
Also on Thursday, investors are set to receive their latest weekly update on the state of the labor market with the Labor Department’s print on weekly unemployment insurance claims. New claims are expected to have totaled one million last week, returning to at least the one million mark following a brief dip below that level earlier in August, and reflecting the ongoing virus-related pressure on the labor market.
6:03 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures tick down as late trading kicks off
Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:14 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,477.25, down 3 points or 0.09%
Dow futures (YM=F): 28,297.00, down 15 points or 0.05%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,977.75, down 13.5 points, or 0.11%
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