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US Stocks Fall – Market Awaits Powell’s Testimony

The US stock market saw a short decline in Tuesday’s trading. The major directional driver in today’s market is the highly-anticipated testimony from Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States since 2018.

The S&P 500, the index that represents the 500 largest companies in the United States, went down 0.48% or 14.46 points.

Dow Jones Industrial Average, the index that indicates the value of the 30 biggest publicly owned companies in America, declined 0.43% or 1.15 points.

The Nasdaq index, which represents the 100 largest technology companies in the US, fell 0.71% or 55.51 points.

US stock-index futures seemed to be losing for three consecutive weeks in Wall Street sessions. The market is turning its focus to Fed chair Jerome Powell. After a strong jobs report from the non-farm payroll, questions about the central bank’s rate policy are currently being raised.

Investors are appearing to be less willing to hold their shares and other assets that are perceived as risky.

Expectations for interest-rate reductions have been scaled back last week following the NFP report, though experts are still saying that a quarter-point reduction by the Fed is still virtually certain.

Jerome Powell is said to give his opening remarks at the conference to discuss the present stress tests for banks. Randal Quarles, the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve is also set to talk at the conference. Appearances from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard are also expected at the conference.

More on the Fed

Just last week, the market slightly shifted when US President Donald Trump tweeted that he is nominating two people for the Fed board; Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller.

Experts were quick to comment that one of the candidates that trump selected was unexpected. Shelton is a known critic of the Federal Reserve; she is also presently the economic advisor of President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Waller is the director for research and the executive vice president of the Federal Reserve of St. Louis.

The selection was done after the two previous nominees of the US president withdrew because of heavy criticisms from members of both parties; Stephen Moore and Herman Cain.

However, Trump’s choice in Shelton also drew criticisms from other lawmakers since only a few economists share her same perception of the greenback.

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