U.S. stock-market indexes set a new round of records Wednesday as investors welcomed President Donald Trump’s conciliatory tone during his address to a joint session of Congress, despite a lack of details on his economic plans.
Some analysts suggested that the absence of protectionist comments as well as his overall tone that was perceived as “presidential” instilled confidence among investors, sending global equity markets higher. Stocks even rose slightly higher following the release of the Fed’s Beige Book, which pointed out that business optimism has cooled a bit since the election.
The surge for stocks, on the heels of Trump’s speech, also comes as the expectation for a rate increase by the Federal Reserve as early as mid-March have increased significantly. The probability for a March rate increase stands at 69% from a probability of 35% on Tuesday, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
“What’s really changed on the economic front is tough to say,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial, in an interview. “But the Trump speech moved expectations higher. Now it’ll be a surprise if [the Fed doesn’t] raise rates.”