Dow set to stage biggest comeback in 2 months on Powell comments; Nasdaq attempts to erase 4% intraday skid

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MARKET PULSE

Stock-market investors appear to be picking up what Federal Reserve Chairman is putting down on Tuesday in Senate Banking Committee testimony and buying the dip with gusto, as the main equity benchmarks attempt to erase sharp losses from earlier in the day that had been sparked by a sharp rise in bond yields. The Nasdaq Composite Index for example, was down just about 0.2% at 13,508, after sinking nearly 4% earlier Tuesday to intraday nadir at 13,003.98, FactSet data show. The move had pushed the Nasdaq down below its 50-day moving average at 13,246.74. A close below that level would mark the first time the technology-laden benchmark finished beneath the short-term trend line since late October. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4% at 31,642 after being down by as many as 362 points or 1.2%. A close higher for the Dow would mark the biggest comeback for the blue-chip index since Dec. 21 when it fell 1.4% and ended 0.12% higher, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The S&P 500 index was up 0.4% at 3,894 after hitting an intraday low at 3,805.59. A higher close for the index would mark its biggest comeback since June 5 when it fell 2.48% to end up 0.8%. Powell in his first of two days of semi-annual congressional testimony said “the economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals.” And the chairman emphasized that the Fed will continue to support the economy with interest rates and asset purchases until substantial progress is made.Markets had been on edge as the 10-year Treasury note had jumped to around 1.36%, around its highest level in about a year, raising the prospects of higher borrowing costs for companies and individuals. Technology shares are particularly sensitive to the move in rates because valuations there are considered rich.

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