Major benchmarks climbed on Wednesday as investors digested the latest quarterly earnings news, as well as a statement from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggesting the central bank's approach to managing interest rates will likely remain unchanged in the near future.
"We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective," Powell explained.
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Tesla plans German expansion
Shares of Tesla initially climbed as much as 2%, then pulled back to close down 1.1% after CEO Elon Musk revealed the company will build both a new Gigafactory and an engineering and design center in Berlin, Germany.
The announcement came at an awards ceremony in Germany yesterday, where Musk elaborated: "Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, and that's part of the reason we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany."
The exact time frame for completion of Tesla's German facility -- which will mark its fourth Gigafactory, following others in Nevada, New York, and most recently China -- has yet to be determined. But the company has previously said it wants to begin mass production in Europe by 2021.
Musk added that Tesla had also considered locating its European facility in the U.K., but ultimately decided there was too much uncertainty in the country given risks surrounding Brexit.
Disney+ hits 10 million subscribers -- on day one
Meanwhile, after starting the day in negative territory, shares of Disney soared 7.3% after the entertainment giant announced its new Disney+ streaming service reached 10 million subscribers since its official launch yesterday morning.
That said -- keeping in mind users can sign up for a seven-day free trial of the service -- the company didn't clarify exactly how many of the 10 million are actually paying the $6.99 subscription price for Disney+ at this stage. It's also unclear how much of that total came from pre-launch offers; recall Disney previously gave members of its D23 club (which has a free tier) the opportunity to sign up for a three-year subscription for $141, or less than $4 per month.
But it's also an incredible feat considering it took Disney just under one year to grow its ESPN+ service to 2 million subscribers. This early momentum marks an undeniably strong start as the company works toward its initial goal of reaching 60 million to 90 million Disney+ subscribers -- and sustained profitability for the platform -- by 2024.