Fri, 30 Jul 2021

NEW YORK, June 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks were roughly flat on Tuesday morning as investors looked to testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 31.19 points, or 0.09 percent, to 33,845.78. The S&P 500 decreased 1.40 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,223.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.21 point to 14,141.27.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors declined in morning trading, with energy down more than 1 percent, leading the laggards. Consumer discretionary rose 0.3 percent, the best-performing group.

Wall Street will eye on Powell's remarks as the Fed chief is slated to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon on the central bank's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the prepared statement released ahead of the testimony, Powell said that while the "economy has shown sustained improvement," it still faces continued threats from the pandemic.

Last week, the Fed kept its benchmark interest rates unchanged at the record-low level of near zero, while seeing possible rate hikes by the end of 2023. Median forecast among Fed officials calls for a 3.4-percent inflation by end of this year, 1 percentage point up from the March projection.

U.S. equities kicked off the week on an upbeat note, with the Dow closing up 586 points on Monday.

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