US stocks dip ahead of Powell hearing

People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 19, 2021. — Reuters pic
People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 19, 2021. — Reuters pic

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NEW YORK, June 22 — Wall Street stocks edged lower early today as markets await a hearing with the Federal Reserve chair, amid debate on inflation and infrastructure spending.

Today’s session opened in a low-key manner after Friday’s rout was followed by an impressive rally on Monday.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell described the US economy as in the midst of a “sustained improvement,” but still in need of policy support in prepared remarks ahead of a House hearing later today.

Powell also acknowledged that inflation has “increased notably in recent months,” but reiterated that he expects the dynamic to be transient.

Powell’s appearance comes as lawmakers spar over President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package and whether it will be financed with new tax increases.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1 per cent at 33,830.35.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 per cent to 4,223.04, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost less than 0.1 per cent at 14,135.78.

Among individual companies, Sanderson Farms jumped 10.5 per cent following a Wall Street Journal report that the firm is considering a sale amid strong demand for chicken products. — AFP

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