The Nasdaq rose 0.8% to 8,202.53, breaking its previous closing record of 8,170.23 set on July 3. The S&P 500 early in the session breached the 3,000 level for the first time ever before easing off its high of the day, 3,002.98. The large market capitalization index gained 0.5% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.3%.
The S&P 500 closed at 2,993.07, slightly under its all-time closing high of 2,995.82 set on July 3.
Powell said in his prepared testimony that many on the Federal Open Market Committee at last month's meeting viewed the case for a "more accommodative monetary policy" had been reinforced.
"Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook," Powell said in his remarks.
Powell is scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.
Powell's testimony helped increase market expectations of a significant rate cut at the FOMC's meeting later this month. The probability of Fed policymakers lowering the federal funds target rate range to 1.75% to 2% from the current 2.25% to 2.5% increased to almost 29% on Wednesday from 3% on Tuesday, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
Energy stocks surged along with the price of crude oil futures. The S&P 500 energy index rose 1.4% as West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures jumped 4.4% to $60.35 per barrel.
Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 76.71 points (+0.29%) to 26,860.20
S&P 500 was up 13.44 points (+0.45%) to 2,993.07
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 60.80 points (+0.8%) to 8,202.53
FTSE 100 was down 5.78 points (-0.08%) to 7,530.69
DAX was down 63.14 points (-0.5%) to 12,373.41
CAC 40 was down 4.51 points (-0.08%) to 5,567.59
Nikkei 225 was down 31.67 points (-0.15%) to 21,533.48
Hang Seng Index was up 88.41 points (+0.31%) to 28,204.69
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 12.93 points (-0.44%) to 2,915.30
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(-) LEVI (-12%) Misses Q2 EPS Street consensus
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