U.S. equities are firmer
U.S. equities are firmer, adding to the gains that have followed Powell's Wednesday outing where he opened the door to a 25 bps rate cut at the July 30-31 FOMC meeting. The Dow is 0.3% higher, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ have risen 0.2% in pre-market action. The Dow surged 0.9% (228 points) to close at a record high 27,088.08 yesterday, assisted by a rally in health care stocks after President Trump dropped a plan to curb drug rebates to middlemen in Medicare. European bourses are modestly higher, with the Euro Stoxx edging up 0.1%. Germany's DAX is also 0.1% in the green, while France's CAC 40 is outperforming with a 0.5% gain. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 is 0.1% higher. Asian markets also saw cautious improvement, with Japan's Nikkei climbing 0.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rising 0.1%. China's CSI 300 bounced 0.6%.