Markets soar higher as investors digest Powell’s message

Stocks blasted higher in afternoon trading Friday, even after Federal Reserve Chair Powell warned in comments in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that central bank officials were “prepared to raise rates further.”

Traders appeared to shake off fears of future rate hikes, and instead focused on the positive parts of Powell’s speech where he applauded strong economic growth.

“The market may have been comforted by Powell acknowledging that recent inflationary data has been encouraging and thus, interest rates are unlikely to move much higher from here,” said Brian Price, head of investment management for Commonwealth Financial Network.

In corporate news, shares of Affirm closed nearly 30% higher. The buy now, pay later firm beat earnings expectations on Friday morning and issued positive guidance for the rest of the year.

Shares of Hasbro grew by 5.7% after investment bank Stifel shifted its price target for the stock from $79 to $94.

The Dow jumped 241 points, or 0.7%, on Friday.

The S&P 500 gained 0.6%.

The Nasdaq Composite was 1% higher.

For the week, the Dow fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 gained 0.8% and the Nasdaq was up 2.3%.

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