U.S. stocks wobble as investors await comments from Fed's Powell

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U.S. stocks wobble as investors await comments from Fed's Powell
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks wobbled ahead of an appearance later today by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as investors try to gauge the central bank’s next steps.

At 9:45 ET (14:45 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 111 points or 0.3% while the S&P 500 was down 0.2% and the NASDAQ Composite was up 0.1%.

Powell is participating in a question and answer session at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., and his answers will undoubtedly be scrutinized for clues about where the Fed believes interest rates should go next. 

Last week’s strong jobs report for January gave investors reason to believe the Fed will continue raising rates to tame inflation , while some investors had been looking for signs when the Fed might pause its rate increases or even reverse course.

Last week, when the Fed lifted rates by a quarter of a percentage point, Powell said the work on inflation wasn’t done yet, a sentiment echoed by other Fed officials.

The prospect of the Fed nearing an end to its tightening has lit a fire under growth stocks this year, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq up 13% so far this year despite slowing growth in the sector.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ: BBBY ) shares fell 38.9% on Tuesday after the struggling home goods retailer announced plans to sell $1 billion in stock to raise cash. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL ) shares jumped 5.3% after it reported that bookings have exceeded pre-pandemic levels as its fourth quarter loss was smaller than expected. 

Oil rose. Crude Oil WTI Futures were up 1.5% to $75.20 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures are up 1.1% to $81.89 a barrel. Gold Futures were up 0.2% to $1,882.

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