US stock indices continued to rise on Thursday
As investors embraced the Federal Reserve's plans to cut asset purchases and raise interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 230 points, or 0.67%, while the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.49% and 0.44% respectively.
The gains came after all three major averages jumped about 1% after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated on Wednesday that the central bank could start tapering later this year and raise rates in 2022. Talk of interest rate cuts and hikes prompted investors to sell Treasuries with the 10-year bond yield rising 6 basis points to 1.36%. On the equity side, financials including Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were in focus as the yield curve turned steeper after Fed signals.
Elsewhere, Semiconductors Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Nvidia Corp. gained after the White House said it is looking for ways to address chip shortages that are affecting automakers. BlackBerry shares jumped after the company said revenue across all divisions exceeded expectations.
On the earnings front, Darden Restaurants Inc. reported quarterly profit and revenue that beat Wall Street forecasts, as sales at the same restaurant rose 47.5%. The company's board of directors approved a new $750 million share buyback programme.
Consulting firm Accenture plc reported direct revenue and raised its sales forecast for the current quarter because of strong demand for its cloud and security services.
As for commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude rose 15 cents to $72.38 a barrel, while gold fell $20.60 to $1,758.20 an ounce.