Consumer companies rallied after Federal Reserve Chairman pushed back against fears that the central bank would cancel rate-cut plans this year because of a recent up-tick in inflation.

The Fed's rate hikes last year are already slowing demand in the U.S. economy, Powell said, adding that any weakening in the employment market could hasten plans for rate cuts.

River cruiseline Viking will debuted on the New York Stock Exchange with a market valuation estimated of about $10.3 billion, the biggest U.S. initial public offering this year, after shares priced Tuesday at $24.

Starbucks is shifting its real estate strategy in China as it deals with more-intense price competition than expected in bigger Chinese cities.

Estee Lauder shares fell after the cosmetics giant said a slowdown in Chinese demand weighed on earnings, echoing warnings from other luxury firms such as Gucci owner Kering.

Marriott International slipped after the hotelier said rising expenses offset strong room demand in many parts of the world.

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-01-24 1741ET