U.S. stocks turned in a robust relief rally Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled he would support a 0.25% rate hike this month, regardless of the uncertainty between Ukraine and Russia.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped about 600 points or 1.8%, while the S&P 500 rose 1.9% and the Nasdaq Composite 2%.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||31500.68||+823.32||+2.68%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||11607.620416||+375.43||+3.34%|
Positive economic data also helped as employers added 475,000 positions as tracked by ADP's monthly jobs report, a reversal from January’s surprise loss of 301,000 jobs. The data bodes well for Friday's Labor Department report.
Oil prices surged past $112 per barrel, before closing at $110.60, as Russian forces stepped up attacks on Ukrainian cities and as OPEC agreed to modest output adjustments. Brent Crude rose to $112.93.
|USO||UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P.||81.27||+2.29||+2.90%|
|BNO||UNITED STS BRENT OIL FD LP UNIT||32.65||+0.89||+2.79%|
Oil prices rose despite an agreement by the U.S. and other major governments in the International Energy Agency to release 60 million barrels from strategic reserves to stabilize supply Tuesday.
In stock news, Ford CEO Jim Farley announced he was dividing two of the automaker's key units into separate businesses. "Ford Blue and Ford Model e will operate as distinct businesses, but share relevant technology and best practices to leverage scale and drive operating improvements; along with Ford Pro," the company announced, a further move in Farley's turnaround. It also takes direct aim at Tesla, the EV leader, as well as GM.
|F||FORD MOTOR CO.||12.01||+0.45||+3.89%|
|GM||GENERAL MOTORS CO.||34.82||+1.83||+5.55%|
In earnings news, SoFi shares jumped after reporting a better-than-expected quarter and lifting its 2022 outlook.
Dow member SalesForce also gained after boosting its 2022 forecast and now expects to earn as much as $32 billion.
And retailer Nordstrom shares surged after reporting solid results from its Nordstrom Rack division, the discount arm.
Intel was also in focus after President Biden announced during his State of the Union on Tuesday that the chipmaker may boost its $20 billion investment in its Ohio plant to $100 billion as CEO Pat Gelsinger received a shout-out.
Elsewhere, companies continue to cut ties with Russia. Late Tuesday, Apple said it has stopped selling its iPhone and other popular products there; BP and Shell are also pulling out of investments in the Russian oil industry.
Boeing said it suspended major operations in Moscow and temporarily closed its office in Kyiv. Additionally, it suspended supplying parts, maintenance and technical support services to Russian airlines.
|BA||THE BOEING CO.||141.53||+7.56||+5.64%|
Bitcoin was range-bound trading between $43,000 and $44,000.
FOX Business' Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.