Stocks rose sharply Thursday as central bankers from across the globe convened for the U.S. Federal Reserve's highly-anticipated Jackson Hole economic symposium.
The S&P 500 jumped 1.4% after the index snapped a three-day losing streak in the previous session, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 320 points, or about 1%.
Investors tuned in to the Fed's gathering in Wyoming for clues from central bank officials on the pace and magnitude of their rate-hiking plans for the rest of this year as activity appears to slow across some facets of the U.S. economy.
The most closely-watched portion of the meeting is set for Friday, with Chair Jerome Powell scheduled to deliver remarks that may indicate whether the central bank’s next policy announcement in September will result in another 75 basis point rate hike or lighter bump of 0.50%.
“The broad expectation is for Jerome Powell to continue his narrative on fighting inflation while dissuading markets from the notion that the Fed has made a dovish pivot,” David Norris, partner and head of U.S. credit at TwentyFour Asset Management said in a note. “Markets are anticipating a more hawkish statement from Powell along the lines of a ‘higher for longer’ narrative on interest rates.”
Still, Federal Reserve policy is expected to be dictated by economic data on a meeting-by-meeting basis.
On Thursday, data from the BEA showed economic activity contracted less than initially estimated in the second quarter. The second estimate of Q2 GDP showed the economy contracted at a 0.6% annualized rate during the quarter, less than the 0.9% reported late last month.
Data on the labor market also showed a downtick in initial jobless claims, with some 243,000 people filing for unemployment insurance last week, down from 250,000 the prior week. The prior week's data was also revised down to 245,000 from 250,000.
Elsewhere in markets, Peloton Interactive (PTON) was in the spotlight Thursday after the fitness-equipment maker reported an operating loss of more than $1 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter as revenue came in below Wall Street expectations. The results sent shares tumbling nearly 19%, erasing nearly all of the gains after the stock surged 20% on Wednesday on the heels of a deal to sell its fitness equipment on Amazon.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s (TSLA) stock closed little changed after the electric-vehicle giant executed the 3-for-1 stock split approved by shareholders earlier this month after the bell Wednesday. The move comes exactly two years after a 5-for-1 stock split and is aimed to attract more retail investors.
Crude oil futures held near $95 per barrel. Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia suggested the OPEC+ alliance may make possible cuts to production.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc