Stocks were mixed on Thursday morning as investors wait to hear from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell later in the day and ahead of the government’s monthly jobs report due out on Friday.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.1% as of 11:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up slightly, only 0.1%, while the Nasdaq index fell 0.3%.
Energy companies were broadly higher as oil prices jumped more than 4%. Members of OPEC are meeting Thursday to discuss potentially increasing oil production as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Chevron were all up more than 3%.
Wall Street continues to look to Washington, where economic data, comments out of the Federal Reserve and President Joe Biden’s stimulus package remain key points of focus. Treasury yields went as high as 1.50% last week as investors braced for stronger economic growth but also a possible increase in inflation.
Powell will speak starting at noon Eastern time in what has been labeled as comments on monetary policy. Investors heard from him last week when he testified in front of Congress, but Thursday’s Q&A format may be more illuminating than Powell’s calculated answers to politicians.