Wednesday December 8th, 2021 5:56AM

Stocks move higher after Biden taps Powell for new Fed term

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Stocks are moving solidly higher in early trading on Wall Street at the beginning of a holiday-shortened week. Markets were reassured after President Joe Biden said he would nominate Jerome Powell for a second four-year term at the helm of the Federal Reserve, a vote of confidence in Powell’s handling of central bank policies during the brutal disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The dollar also strengthened against other currencies and the price of gold, a haven for when investors feel anxious, fell. The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in the early going, and the Nasdaq was up 0.6%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Markets opened higher in Europe on Monday after a mixed day of trading in Asia.

A resurgence of coronavirus outbreaks has prompted some countries to look to stricter precautions to curb yet another wave of the pandemic.

Austria went into a nationwide lockdown early Monday in a desperate effort to contain spiraling infections. The country's chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, announced last week that Austria will introduce a vaccine mandate as of Feb. 1.

Tens of thousands of people marched through Brussels on Sunday to protest reinforced COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Belgian government.

The World Health Organization said last week that Europe was the hot spot of the pandemic right now, the only region in which COVID-19 deaths were rising.

Still, markets appeared to be off to a strong start for the week. Germany's DAX edged 0.1% higher to 29,774.11 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.3% to 7,130.80. Britain's FTSE 100 picked up 0.4% to 7,251.02.

U.S. futures also pointed to an upbeat start, with the contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both up 0.3%.

On Wall Street on Friday, the Nasdaq composite gained 0.4%, while the S&P 500 shed 0.1%. The Dow industrials fell 0.8%. The Russell 2000 index lost 0.9% to 2,343.16.

Investors are waiting to see if President Joe Biden decides to keep Jerome Powell at the Fed’s helm.

Biden is expected to announce within days whom he will choose for the nation’s most powerful economic position. Many Fed watchers expect Powell to be offered a second term, though Lael Brainard, a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors, has emerged as a leading alternative.

The decision could have a sweeping impact given the pivotal role the Fed plays in setting the future course for the world's largest economy.

In Asia on Monday, the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.6% to 3,582.08 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.4% to 24,951.34.

South Korea's Kospi surged 1.4% to 3,013.25 as shares in the country's biggest company, Samsung Electronics, jumped 5.2%.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 recovered from earlier losses, edging 0.1% higher to 29,774.11. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 500 gave up 0.6% to 7,353.10.

India's Sensex sank 2.5%.

Reports that advisers to the Chinese central bank were pointing to risks of inflation and slow growth leading to “quasi-stagflation" signaled the conflicting pressures Beijing is facing.

Controls on property lending, fresh waves of COVID-19 outbreaks and strict policies to fight them and surging prices are all adding to China's policy challenges, Ting Lu of Nomura said in a report.

“A raft of meeting memos and policy reports show that Beijing is becoming increasingly concerned about the growth slump and has begun to take action to shift its policy stance in order to prevent growth from sliding further," Ting said.

Shares have generally been gaining ground as companies reported better than expected profits for the last quarter.

Still, most face higher raw materials costs and supply chain problems that could crimp future profits. Consumers have so far absorbed higher prices, but analysts fear they could start economizing if higher prices persist too long.

“Stock markets continue to trade at or near record highs in the U.S., and who can blame them? U.S. data remains strong although the inflation noise gets louder by the day," Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary.

The situation is putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to move faster to rein in its ultra-low-rate policies in order to combat rising prices. On Friday, analysts at Bank of America projected that the Fed will likely start raising its benchmark interest rate in the second quarter of 2022, two quarters earlier than they had previously forecast.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil added 30 cents to $76.24 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the basis for international pricing, added 25 cents to $79.14 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 114.08 Japanese yen from 113.96 yen on Friday. The euro slipped to $1.1284 from $1.1289.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Prosecutor in Ahmaud Arbery case: Arbery was under attack
A prosecutor in the murder trial over Ahmaud Arbery's death is arguing that none of the three white men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery had cause to make a citizen’s arrest when they saw him in their neighborhood
10:13AM ( 15 minutes ago )
How COVID shots for kids help prevent dangerous new variants
Scientists say vaccinating kids should not only slow the spread of the coronavirus but also help prevent potentially-dangerous variants from emerging
10:02AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Yes, there are turkeys for Thanksgiving - for a price
First, the good news: There is no shortage of whole turkeys in the U.S. this Thanksgiving
10:02AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden to keep Powell as Fed chair, Brainard gets vice chair
President Joe Biden announced Monday that he’s nominating Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve chair, endorsing Powell’s stewardship of the economy through a brutal pandemic recession in which the Fed’s ultra-low rate policies helped bolster confidence and revitalize the job market
9:19AM ( 1 hour ago )
EU considers booster doses of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine
The European Medicines Agency says it is evaluating whether to authorize booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine
9:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
Target to keep stores closed on Thanksgiving for good
Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic
9:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
World shares mostly higher as lockdowns, inflation loom
Markets have opened higher in Europe after a mixed day of trading in Asia
4:35AM ( 5 hours ago )
Asian shares mixed after China warning on risks, stagflation
Stocks are mixed in Asia after ending mostly lower on Wall Street Friday, despite the Nasdaq’s first close above 16,000
1:39AM ( 8 hours ago )
Ex-protester, far-right lawmaker to meet in Chilean runoff
A conservative lawmaker with a history of defending Chile’s military dictatorship and a former student protest leader are headed to a polarizing presidential runoff after failing to garner enough votes to win the country’s election outright
12:04AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
El Salvador to build cryptocurrency-fueled "Bitcoin City"
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele says his government will build an oceanside “Bitcoin City” at the base of a volcano
10:44AM ( 23 hours ago )
Stocks end mostly lower, but tech gains push Nasdaq higher
Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Friday, though gains for several tech companies pushed the Nasdaq composite to another record high and its first close over 16,000 points
5:10PM ( 2 days ago )
Stocks wobble as Wall Street heads for a mixed weekly finish
Stocks wobbled in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday and major indexes were on track for a mixed finish to a choppy week
3:44PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Thailand's DTAC and True to merge, pursue tech businesses
Thailand's DTAC and True Corp. plan a merger that they say will create an “equal partnership" for pursuing opportunities in the tech sector
6:21AM ( 4 hours ago )
Austria begins national lockdown to fight surging infections
Austria has gone into a nationwide lockdown to combat skyrocketing coronavirus infections
7:24PM ( 15 hours ago )
Mulled wine, Xmas vibes: Austrians enjoy day before lockdown
Austrians are enjoying a last day out in coffeehouses and at Christmas markets before the government imposes a nationwide lockdown to combat a fourth surge of coronavirus infections
11:55AM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Rare first printing of US Constitution sells for record $43M
A rare first printing of the U.S. Constitution has sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $43.2 million, a record price for a document or book sold at auction
3:20PM ( 2 days ago )
Two Democratic senators oppose Powell as Fed chair
Two Senate Democrats said Friday they oppose the reappointment of Jerome Powell as chair of the Federal Reserve, as President Joe Biden is expected to announce within days who he will pick for the nation’s most powerful economic position
11:49AM ( 2 days ago )
Europe's central banker: Not adding to pinch with rate hike
The head of the European Central Bank is doubling down on the message that it's no time to raise interest rates
9:08AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
SUV driver in parade crash may have been fleeing a crime
A person taken into custody after an SUV plowed into a crowd of holiday parade marchers in Wisconsin, killing at least five people, has been identified as 39-year-old Darrell Brooks
10:24AM ( 5 minutes ago )
How COVID shots for kids help prevent dangerous new variants
Scientists say vaccinating kids should not only slow the spread of the coronavirus but also help prevent potentially-dangerous variants from emerging
10:02AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Yes, there are turkeys for Thanksgiving - for a price
First, the good news: There is no shortage of whole turkeys in the U.S. this Thanksgiving
10:02AM ( 28 minutes ago )
New this week: 'Becoming Cousteau,' Gaga and Tony Bennett
This week’s new entertainment releases include the first ever album of covers by Deep Purple, an acclaimed documentary about undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau on Disney+ and a concert video of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
9:54AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Probe finds 'overwhelming evidence' of misconduct by Cuomo
A legislative investigation has found “overwhelming evidence” that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo engaged in sexual harassment and ordered state workers to help produce his book during work hours
9:48AM ( 41 minutes ago )