Wall Street ended sharply higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank might scale back the pace of its interest rate hikes as soon as December.
The S&P 500 rallied from an earlier loss and the Nasdaq jumped after the release of Powell's remarks prepared for delivery at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington.
Powell also cautioned that the fight against inflation was far from over and that key questions remain unanswered, including how high rates will ultimately need to rise and for how long.
"(The market) has waited with bated breath, looking for that clarification in terms of duration and extent of Fed tightening. And anything that gives hope to the idea the Fed is becoming less hawkish is viewed as a positive for stocks, at least on a short-term basis," said Chuck Carlson, Chief Executive Officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.
Bets that the Fed will reduce the size of its rate hikes, as well as recent data pointing to a mild cooling in inflation, led the benchmark S&P 500 index to its second straight month of gains.
Nvidia rallied more than 8 percent, Microsoft jumped 6.2 percent and Apple climbed 4.9 percent.
Tesla's shares surged 7.7 percent after China Merchants Bank International said Tesla's sales in China in November were boosted by price cuts and incentives offered on its Model 3 and Model Y.
The S&P 500 climbed 3.09 percent to end the session at 4,080 points.
The Nasdaq gained 4.41 percent to 11,468 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.18 percent to 34,589 points.
For November, the S&P 500 climbed 5.4 percent, the Dow added 5.7 percent and the Nasdaq increased 4.4 percent. (Reuters)