Stocks Ended Slightly Lower after Powell Testimony

U.S. stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday, with no fresh signals from the Federal Reserve and no new developments in U.S.-China trade talks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.97 points, or 0.13%, to 26,057.98. The S&P 500 declined 2.21 points, or 0.08%, to 2,793.90. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 5.16 points, or 0.07%, to 7,549.30.

Oil prices inched up to settle just above one-week lows on Tuesday, as a downdraft — prompted by President Donald Trump’s call for OPEC to help check rising crude prices — faded. April West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 2 cents, less than 0.05%, to settle at $55.50 a barrel. April Brent rose 45 cents, or 0.7%, to $65.21 a barrel.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly called out the ballooning U.S. national debt. He did so again while testifying to Congress on Tuesday. “The U.S. federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee, noting that “debt as a percentage of GDP is growing, and now growing sharply… And that is unsustainable by definition.

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