U.S. stocks post weekly gains after Fed report

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-26 04:54:52|Editor: yan
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NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks posted weekly gains for the week, paring losses earlier in the week after the Federal Reserve released a semiannual report that offered few signs of adopting a more aggressive monetary policy.

For the week, the blue-chip Dow gained 0.4 percent, and the broader S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent, while the tech heavy Nasdaq increased 1.4 percent.

The market has been closely following any updates from the U.S. central bank throughout the week.

The Fed is expected to continue gradual interest rate hikes this year on the expectation of stronger economic outlook.

"The (Federal Open Market) Committee expects that the ongoing strength in the economy will warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate," said the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

The report was released before new Fed chair Jerome Powell's first Congress testimony which was scheduled on Feb. 27.

Despite the recent market turbulence, the Fed still held that overall vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system remain moderate on balance.

However, it warned that valuation pressures continue to be elevated across a range of assets, including equities and real estate.

In their public remarks, Fed officials have downplayed the impact of recent market volatility, saying they would stick to their forecast of stronger growth outlook and gradual rate hike pace.

On Wednesday, the U.S. central bank released minutes from its January meeting. According to the minutes, the Fed officials see increased economic growth and an uptick in inflation as justification to continue to raise interest rates gradually.

After the news came out, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield spiked to as high as 2.956 percent. Major stock indices rose sharply with the Dow jumping more than 300 points before paring gains completely.

On the economic front, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell to a near 45-year low last week, but claims for six states were estimated because of Monday's Presidents Day holiday, according to the Labor Department on Thursday.

In the week ending on Feb. 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 222,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 230,000 to 229,000.

The four-week moving average was 226,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 250 from 228,500 to 228,250.

For Chinese companies listed in the United States, shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba gained 2.45 percent to settle at 193.37 dollars on Friday, while shares of another Chinese technology company Baidu increased 0.56 percent to close at 250.74 dollars on the day.