US stocks rise as investors assess Fed's inflation fight and await more earnings

James Bullard, CEO and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in an interview on February 25, 2016.David Orrell/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

  • US stocks rose Wednesday in what could be the market’s first advance after two straight losses.

  • Fed officials have been speaking about what may be next for interest rates as they work to pull down inflation.

  • St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said strong job growth makes it hard to envision that the economy is in recession.

US stocks rose Wednesday, looking to trim recent losses as investors assessed remarks from Federal Reserve officials about the central bank’s efforts to cool down the hottest inflationary environment in four decades.

Major indexes were on course to rise after two straight sessions of losses. The S&P 500 was coming off a 9.1% surge in July that marked its best monthly performance since November 2020.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Wednesday “it’s hard to say there’s a recession,” with strong job growth in the first half of the year. He projected the Fed will raise rates by at least another 1.5 percentage points to bring down inflation, which stood at 9.1% in June.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans on Tuesday backed the potential of a smaller rate hike of 50 basis points at the next Fed meeting and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said the bank’s work is far from done in reining in elevated prices.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Wednesday: 

Around the markets, oil prices turned higher following news that OPEC plans to raise oil production by 100,000 barrels a day, widely considered as a modest increase. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.3% to $95.67 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 0.9% to $101.45.

Gold slipped 0.1% to $1,788 per ounce. The 10-year Treasury yield rose 17 basis points to 2.78%.

Bitcoin fell 0.5% to $23,889.12..

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