Stocks Opened Slightly Lower ahead of Powell Testimony

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Tuesday as investors continued to monitor a rising COVID-19 case count and awaited testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 31.92 points, or 0.12%, to 25,563.88. The S&P 500 was up 8.56 points, or 0.28%, to 3,061.80. The Nasdaq Composite gained 55.15 points, or 0.56%, to 9,929.30.

Oil futures pulled back early Tuesday as persistent concerns about the rising number of cases of COVID-19 and the threat of more oil flowing out of the Middle East more than offset upbeat data suggesting both China’s manufacturing and service sectors are recovering. West Texas Intermediate crude for August fell 59 cents, or 1.5%, at $39.10 a barrel. Brent oil for August delivery shed 58 cents, or 1.4%, to trade at $41.28 a barrel.

Market participants might look to glean some guidance from joint testimony from Powell and Mnuchin about the U.S.’s economic response to the global public health disaster. The two speak in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Home prices increased in April over last year even amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The index posted a 4.73% annual gain in April, up from March’s 4.35% rise. Consensus economists expected a 4.5% year-on-year rate.

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