By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe rose on Wednesday for an eighth straight session even as the S&P 500 eased, and U.S. Treasury yields tumbled on data showing inflation remained tame in January.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, in remarks to the Economic Club of New York, called for a more comprehensive approach to end the jobs crisis while reassuring investors interest rates will remain low to spur the economy and jobs growth.
"Basically Powell is saying he's not changing his tune, and that simply means between the combination of an overly friendly Fed and stimulus, that's just adding more enthusiasm to the marketplace," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
Bets on more fiscal aid have powered Wall Street's main indexes to a series of all-time peaks, with investors moving into sectors such as energy, banks and industrials that are poised to benefit from a recovering economy.
On Wednesday, the S&P consumer discretionary and technology sectors ended lower and were the biggest drags on the S&P 500 in a volatile session. The S&P 500 hit a record high at the opening.
Interest from retail investors appeared to broadly lift cannabis stocks, signaling the recent trading frenzy behind Reddit favorites such as GameStop is shifting to other companies. Shares of Tilray jumped 50.9%.
Supporting the S&P 500, Twitter Inc shares rose 13.2%, a day after the company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales and profit and followed its social media peers to forecast a strong start to 2021 as ad spending rebounds from a rock bottom.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.97 points, or 0.2%, to 31,437.8, the S&P 500 lost 1.35 points, or 0.03%, to 3,909.88 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 35.16 points, or 0.25%, to 13,972.53.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.23% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.20%. The MSCI index also registerd a record high.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, consolidated recent gains on Wednesday, trading 3.7% lower at $44,780. It hit a new high of $48,216 on Tuesday following Tesla's disclosure of a $1.5 billion investment in the virtual currency.
The dollar fell to a two-week low, weighed down by U.S. inflation data, while benchmark U.S. Treasury yields also tumbled.
The data showed that inflation stayed benign in January, disappointing investors betting that price pressures would increase more. The Labor Department said its consumer price index increased 0.3% last month after climbing a revised 0.2% in December.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 10/32 in price to yield 1.1242%, from 1.157% late on Tuesday.
The dollar index =USD drifted to a two-week low of 90.249, posting its third day of losses. It last traded 0.1% lower at 90.377.
Oil rose, extending its rally for a ninth day, its longest winning streak in two years, helped by producer supply cuts and hopes vaccine rollouts will drive a recovery in demand.
Brent crude rose 38 cents to settle at $61.47 a barrel, while U.S. crude climbed 32 cents to settle at $58.68.
Spot gold added 0.3% to $1,842.11 an ounce.
(Additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault and Karen Brettell in New York and Elizabeth Howcroft in London and Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Larry King, Steve Orlofsky, Peter Graff, Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)