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Stocks Dip as Investors Watch Fed Chair Jerome Powell

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Stocks dipped Tuesday, as investors watch Jerome Powell speak to Congress starting 10 am. Consumer staples lead the way Tuesday, with Walmart WMT posting an impressive sales and earnings beat. 

The S&P 500 fell roughly 0.5%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was flat to up slightly. The 10 year treasury bond, investors’ safe haven during tomes of stress, inched down to 0.72%. Yields fall when prices rise. 

Big tech was somewhat attributable to keeping the market afloat, with Facebook  (FB) , Apple  (AAPL) , Amazon  (AMZN) , Netflix  (NFLX) , Google  (GOOGL)  and Microsoft  (MSFT)  up a bit less than 1%, with Google the only one slightly down. These stocks represents a bit mr than 20% of the S&P 500’s market cap weighing. 

Walmart  (WMT)  rose 1.7%, after the company beat revenue and earnings estimates, saying that it was capturing the customer stocking up on groceries for the first quarter during lockdown. Revenue was $134 billion, against Wall Street estimates of $131 billion. Same-store-sales rose 10%, beating estimates of 7.2%. Earnings per share was $1.18 against expectations of $1.13. 

Target  (TGT)  and Costco  (COST)  followed suit, both rising as much as 1%. 

Investors are eagerly awaiting the words of Jerome Powell, who is speaking about the economy to the Senate Banking committee. His words have been moving markets drastically in either direction, as investors gage whether the economic recovery will be quick or gradual. 

Meanwhile, many investors are bearish: 75% of fund managers see U-shaped recovery, while 68% say we are in a bear market rally, according to Bank of America Global Research. 

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