Investing.com — Stocks held onto modest gains on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the Senate the central bank was determined to tame inflation and had the right tools to get the job done.
Recession fears have mounted in recent weeks, throwing a damper on stocks, but this week investors have tried to look past those fears with mixed success.
While bank economists raise the likelihood of a recession sometime in the next year — and Powell told the Senate Banking Committee a recession is one possible outcome — some investors were interpreting Powell’s statement for what it says about how aggressive the Fed will be. They seemed to take comfort in Powell’s comments that the Fed would need to be flexible and responsive to data.
Powell is to appear again on Capitol Hill Thursday for another round of questions, this time from the House. It’s part of his semiannual report to Congress.
Right before he appears, the new numbers for jobless claims will come out Thursday morning. Employment is one of the Fed’s main barometers of the economy’s health, and Powell said the economy is strong enough to withstand more rate hikes.
Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:
1. Jobless claims
The report on initial jobless claims for last week is expected out at 8:30 AM ET. Analysts expect the number to be 227,000, which is about in line with the prior week.
2. Manufacturing PMI
A reading on manufacturing activity for June is due out at 9:45 AM ET. Analysts expect the manufacturing PMI, which is a reading on business conditions, to be 56, down slightly from 57 the prior month.
3. FedEx earnings
Earnings from FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) come out on Thursday, and analysts expect the global logistics leader to report earnings per share of $6.87 on revenue of $24.5 billion.