Stocks finished higher Wednesday as Wall Street welcomed new signals suggesting the Federal Reserve is ready to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade.

Technology stocks drove much of the gains, nudging the Nasdaq composite to an all-time high. The benchmark S&P 500 index briefly traded above 3,000 for the first time before pulling back to just below its most recent record high a week ago.

The market climbed early on after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that many Fed officials believe a weakening global economy and rising trade tensions have strengthened the case for a rate cut.

Powell’s remarks, which he delivered as part of his semi-annual monetary report to Congress, allayed investors’ concerns that an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report on Friday might give the Fed reason to stay put on interest rates.

The S&P 500 index rose 13.44 points, or 0.5%, to 2,993.07. The index, which set three record highs last week, is now less than 0.1% below its all-time high set last Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 76.71 points, or 0.3%, to 26,860.20.

The Nasdaq climbed 60.80 points, or 0.7%, to 8,202.53, a record. It’s previous record high was also set last Wednesday.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rebounded from a brief slide, gaining 2.46 points, or 0.2%, to 1,565.05.

Major stock indexes in Europe closed mostly lower. The dollar fell and the price of gold rose.

The U.S. stock market rallied through much of June after the Fed first signaled that it might cut rates if necessary to shore up the U.S. economy.

Powell is due to appear before the Senate Banking Committee today.

Investors will have to wait until the end of the month to see what action the Fed takes on interest rates at its next meeting of policymakers. Before then, however, the market will turn its attention to the upcoming company earnings reporting season, which begins next week.

Companies have been lowering expectations for how much profit they made in the April-June quarter. Wall Street now projects that overall S&P 500 company earnings for the quarter fell 2.6% from a year earlier, according to FactSet. As recently as the end of March, earnings were forecast to be down only 0.5%.

This could be the first time in three years that S&P 500 companies report a back-to-back decline in overall earnings.

“We’re going to see what’s happening with companies’ earnings, and that’s where the uncertainty lies,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments.

Industrials lagged the market. Deere & Co. slid 1.6%.

Traders weighed earnings results from several companies.

Helen of Troy vaulted 11.15% after the company reported fiscal first-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts. Its brands include Hydro Flask, Oxo, Vicks and Revlon.

Shares in WD-40 climbed 8.5% after the seller of lubricants delivered fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations.

Levi Strauss slumped 12% after the jeans maker’s latest quarterly report card showed its profit margins fell due to higher costs.

Energy futures closed broadly higher Wednesday.

Benchmark crude oil rose $2.60 to settle at $60.43 a barrel, the highest level since late May. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained $2.85 to close at $67.01 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline added 8 cents to $2.01 per gallon. Heating oil climbed 8 cents to $1.99 per gallon. Natural gas picked up 1 cent to $2.44 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $12.60 to $1,410.10 per ounce, silver added 8 cents to $15.15 per ounce and copper gained 7 cents to $2.69 per pound.

The dollar fell to 108.42 Japanese yen from 108.89 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1253 from $1.1207.

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