U.S. stock index futures rose in evening deals on Wednesday after a whipsaw session on Wall Street as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that interest rates will remain high for longer, but dismissed the prospect of a rate hike.

Powell’s comments offered some relief to markets, which had fallen sharply in recent sessions amid growing concerns over sticky inflation giving the Fed less confidence to cut interest rates.

S&P 500 Futures rose 0.3% to 5,060.0 points, while Nasdaq 100 Futures rose 0.3% to 17,498.50 points by 19:11 ET (23:11 GMT). Dow Jones Futures rose 0.2% to 38,151.0 points.

Fed’s Powell signals next move to be a cut, but timing uncertain
Powell signaled that the next rate move from the Fed was still likely to be an interest rate cut, although the timing of the move remained uncertain following a series of hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation readings.

Traders had steadily priced out expectations of any interest rate cuts by the Fed until at least the fourth quarter, and this remained the case after Wednesday’s meeting.

Powell noted that disinflation had slowed in recent months, and that progress towards the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target had largely stalled.

While U.S. stocks welcomed the prospect of no more rate hikes, they are still likely to face pressure in the coming months as interest rates remain high. This notion spurred volatility in Wall Street on Wednesday, although benchmark indexes still ended above session lows.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to finish at 5,018.39 points on Wednesday. The NASDAQ Composite fell 0.3% to 15,605.48 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.2% at 37,903.29 points.

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Focus this week now turns to nonfarm payrolls data for April, due on Friday, which is also expected to factor into the outlook for interest rates.

Apple earnings on tap
The first-quarter earnings season carried on, with iPhone maker Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) set to report its earnings after the close on Thursday. While Apple is expected to see sustained weakness in its iPhone sales, focus will be largely on the tech giant’s plans for artificial intelligence.

AI has been a key point of focus this earnings season, with majors such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) clocking strong earnings growth on their AI offerings. But AI development is also expected to result in increased costs.

After-hours movers: DoorDash sinks, Qualcomm rises
Among major after-hours movers, DoorDash Inc (NASDAQ:DASH) slid 14.4% after it flagged a disappointing outlook for annual profit.

Carvana Co (NYSE:CVNA) surged nearly 33% after the used car dealer clocked a surprise first-quarter profit and offered a positive forecast.

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) rose 4% after the chipmaker flagged stronger-than-expected guidance.

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