US stock futures rise as Fed rate cut cheer puts Wall St at record highs By

© Reuters.– U.S. stock index futures rose in evening trade on Wednesday, extending a record-high run on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve kept rates steady and stuck to its forecasts of at least three rate cuts this year. 

While Fed Chair Jerome Powell still projected some caution over sticky inflation, markets were cheered by Fed officials largely maintaining their forecast on lower rates this year. Powell also flagged continued resilience in the U.S. economy- a trend that bodes well for corporate earnings. 

rose 0.3% to 5,302.75 points, while rose 0.6% to 18,582.25 points by 19:28 ET (23:28 GMT). rose 0.2% to 40,019.0 points.

Wall Street ends at record highs, Dow on cusp of 40,000 

Wall Street indexes closed at record highs on Wednesday following the Fed’s signaling, as risk appetite was boosted by the prospect of lower interest rates and a resilient U.S. economy. Powell also reiterated his expectations for a  “soft landing” for the U.S. economy.

Powell’s comments saw markets ramp up expectations that the Fed will cut interest rates by 25 basis points in June, according to the .

The closed up 0.9% at 5,224.62 points, while the surged 1.3% to 16,369.41 points. The jumped 1% to 39,512.13 points, and was within spitting distance of the psychologically important 40,000 level. 

Gains were mostly broad-based, although investors remained biased towards heavyweight technology stocks, particularly market darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:), on the prospect of an artificial intelligence boom this year. Nvidia rose 1.1% on Wednesday after unveiling more details on its latest line of AI chips, and extended gains into aftermarket trade. 

Among other aftermarket movers, memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:) surged 18% on clocking a surprise quarterly profit, as it benefited from increased demand from the AI industry. 

On the other hand, iPhone maker Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) fell 1% after Bloomberg reported that the Department of Justice was planning to sue the firm by as soon as Thursday for potentially violating antitrust law.

PMIs awaited for more economic cues 

Focus now turns to upcoming purchasing managers index readings for March, which are expected to offer more cues on the U.S. economy.

Both and activity is expected to have remained comfortably in expansion so far in March. 

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