US stocks flat ahead of Powell testimony

September 22, 2020: After three straight losing sessions, Wall Street stocks were essentially flat early Tuesday ahead of congressional testimony from top US economic policymakers.

US Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to speak before a House panel today amid diminished hopes lawmakers can put aside partisan differences and reach an agreement on another stimulus package to boost the coronavirus-ravaged US economy.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 27,116.41, down 0.1 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 edged up 0.1 percent to 3,284.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was essentially flat at 10,775.07.

Stocks have been under pressure for most of September as investors have begun to rethink assumptions that another stimulus package would be enacted. That belief helped feed huge stock market gains in August.

Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on a deal, a gulf that has widened with a push by Senate Republicans to replace deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Among individual companies, Comcast jumped 2.6 percent on news that Nelson Peltz's activist Trian Fund management had taken a stake in the cable giant.

Tesla dropped 5.0 percent as Chief Executive Elon Musk tempered expectations ahead of the electric car company's “battery day,” saying the presentation will focus on technologies that won't reach “serious high-volume production” until 2022.

AFP/APP

Posted on: 2020-09-22T20:10:00+05:00

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