S&P 500 and Nasdaq close lower for third day as investors look to Fed Chair Powell’s

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Ongoing uncertainty in China is a double-edged sword for the Fed, says Roger Ferguson

Stocks fell Tuesday as traders struggled to recover from sharp losses suffered in the previous session and looked ahead to more economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 42 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3%, while the S&P 500 shed 0.7%.

Investors are watching for data coming later this week on topics such as gross domestic product and jobs for insight into how the economy is performing. And they are waiting for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s scheduled speech at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings on Wednesday for clues into whether the central bank will slow or stop interest rate hikes.

‘The market has shifted focus from the conclusion of the third quarter earnings reporting season to now additional factors that are likely to influence the Federal Reserve in their December deliberations,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank. “Investors are clearly focused on the path ahead rather than looking in the rear-view mirror.”

Tuesday’s ticks downward follow steep losses Monday, with the Dow dropping nearly 500 points and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each losing more than 1%, after protests in mainland China against the country’s zero-Covid policy started over the weekend. The protests elevated concerns over the potential for Chinese Covid protocols that could once again hamper global supply chains.

Overnight, however, global markets seemed to catch a reprieve as a Chinese official told reporters that 65.8% of people “over age 80” had received booster shots. On top of that, the government reported the first decline in Covid infections within mainland China in more than a week. This contributed to a rally in the Hong Kong and Shanghai markets.

Read More: S&P 500 and Nasdaq close lower for third day as investors look to Fed Chair Powell’s

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