New York, May 21 (IANS) US stocks ended higher on Wednesday, bolstered by solid gains in energy sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 369.04 points, or 1.52 per cent, to 24,575.90. The S&P 500 was up 48.67 points, or 1.67 per cent, to 2,971.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 190.67 points, or 2.08 per cent, to 9,375.78, Xinhua reported.
Shares of US energy giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil rallied 3.77 per cent and 3.25 per cent, respectively, contributing to the market. The S&P 500 energy sector closed up 3.82 per cent, the best-performing group.
Wall Street digested the latest meeting minutes from the US central bank.
Minutes released on Wednesday from the Federal Reserve’s April meeting showed deep concern about the economy.
“Participants judged that the effects of the coronavirus outbreak and the ongoing public health crisis would continue to weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and would pose considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” the minutes said.
The minutes came one day after testimony from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Both described the economy in gloomy terms before the Senate, but they differed about how to fix it.
Mnuchin called for a rapid reopening, warning there is “risk of permanent damage” if states delay.
Powell struck a more cautious tone, stressing the importance of getting the virus under control. He reiterated the central bank’s commitment to “using our full range of tools to support the economy in this challenging time even as we recognize that these actions are only a part of a broader public-sector response.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 1.54 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 92,700 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.