The Dow Jones gained 0.78%, the Nasdaq index rose 1.90% and the broader S&P 500 index gained 1.29%.

The session had started slightly in the red, in a cautious atmosphere before the intervention of Jerome Powell, at midday in the United States.

According to the central banker, questioned by Economic Council Chairman David Rubenstein in Washington, "if economic data were to continue to be stronger than expected", the Fed "certainly (would) raise rates more" than it never considered it so far.

Jerome Powell was referring to the 517,000 job creations announced Friday by the US Department of Labor for the month of January, almost triple the projections of economists (187,000).

The official also defended, again, the need, according to him, to maintain rates at a high level until the end of the year, as inflation should not approach the target of 2% before 2024 .

The surprise employment numbers "didn't really change President Powell's message," said Bill Adams of Comerica Bank.

Still, traders were encouraged by Jerome Powell's multiple mentions of slowing inflation, as well as his "more sympathetic tone, interpreted by the market as less offensive" on the monetary side, reported Steve Sosnick, of Interactive Brokers.

According to this analyst, investors "continue to think that the Fed will stop raising its rates and then lower them", despite his speech.

“Markets are sometimes driven by momentum and that is what is happening right now.”

"The movement remains sustained and the trend remains upward," he said.

The Nasdaq was driven by Microsoft (+4.20%), which on Tuesday unveiled several innovations based on so-called generative artificial intelligence (AI), which creates content for users.

The Redmond group (western United States) will notably integrate the ChatGPT program into its Bing search engine, which could relaunch Microsoft in this sector outrageously dominated by Google.

Alphabet (+4.61%), Google's parent company, also took advantage of the suction, after presenting its version of ChatGPT, called Bard, on Monday.

In their wake, the manufacturer of processors and graphics cards Nvidia (+5.14%), whose technology is at the forefront in the field of AI, sparked.

Also in the spotlight, Zoom (+9.85%) was for different reasons.

The platform, which believes it has grown too quickly, presented a social plan on Tuesday which will lead to the dismissal of 15% of its workforce, or around 1,300 people, to cope with a deteriorating economic situation.

The social network Pinterest (-5.16%) was penalized by a quarterly turnover lower than analysts' projections and by forecasts deemed cautious.

The Oak Street Health network soared (+29.74%), thanks to information from the Wall Street Journal, according to which discussions are underway with the pharmacy chain CVS (+0.28%) which could shortly make an offer valuing the group at around 10.5 billion dollars.

The video game publisher Activision Blizzard, which is soon to be acquired by Microsoft, advanced (+5.62%), on the strength of results that exceeded forecasts, marked by the good performance of its flagship titles such as "Call of Duty", "Overwatch" or "Diablo".

The Hertz vehicle rental company was sought after (+7.47%), after having published a net profit above expectations and having reported a still strong demand at the start of the year, driven by the revival of tourism.

© 2023 AFP