Dow surges more than 600 points, as Fed's Powell emphasizes sensitivity to financial conditions
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday jumped to a fresh peak as a trio of bankers, headlined by current Chairman Jerome Powell, underscored the health of the U.S. economy but also expressed an attentiveness to a market that has grown fragile amid a spate of interest-rate increases. The Dow was up 616 points, or 2.7%, at 23,291, the S&P 500 index climbed 2.8% at 2,515, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 3.2%, producing the best intraday gains, to reach 6,671. The moves follow a better-than-expected job report that showed that 312,000 jobs were created in December, with the unemployment rate rising to 3.9%, as more workers entered the workforce. Against that backdrop, Powell, during an panel discussion featuring former Fed bosses, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke at an event in Atlanta, said the employment report underlined the economy's health. He also said that the central bank would be willing to "adjust" policy if it disrupted the market or created adverse financial conditions, running against the central bank's statutory goals. The Fed has raised interest rates nine times since the end of 2015. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.