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Stocks Ended Mixed, Nasdaq Held Lower

-- Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 16:29 --

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Tuesday, recovering earlier losses, on comments made by Federal Reserve Jerome Powell Chairman in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.66 points, or 0.05%, to 31,537.35. The S&P 500 added 4.87 points, or 0.13%, to 3,881.37. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 67.85 points, or 0.50%, to 13,465.20.

Oil futures ended mixed on Tuesday, with U.S. prices down a few pennies and global benchmark Brent crude eking out a fresh 13-month high. April West Texas Intermediate crude fell 3 cents, or nearly 0.1%, to settle at $61.67 a barrel. April Brent crude rose 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $65.37 a barrel.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee was “resolutely dovish,” suggesting monetary policy will likely not be tightened at the first signs of inflationary pressure or rebound in employment, Capital Economics economist Paul Ashworth said in a note.

Consumer confidence improved by a greater margin than anticipated in February, based on The Conference Board’s closely watched monthly index. The institution’s headline Consumer Confidence index rose to 91.3 in February from a downwardly revised 88.9 in January. This topped estimates for a print of 90.0, according to Bloomberg consensus data.

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