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The sign for Wall Street is seen with US flags outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York on June 16, 2022. — AFP pic

Wednesday, 22 Jun 2022 11:36 PM MYT

NEW YORK, June 22 — Wall Street stocks fell early today, giving back some of the prior session’s gains as markets awaited testimony from the Federal Reserve chief on inflation and monetary policy.

In prepared testimony, Fed Chief Jerome Powell said that further inflation “surprises” could come after the wave of unexpected price increases over the last year.

The Senate banking committee hearing, the first of two appearances before lawmakers this week, follows yesterday’s equity market rally in the wake of the market downturn in 2022.

Markets are jittery ahead of the upcoming earnings period, where the weakening economic outlook is expected to weigh on forecasts.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.8 per cent at 30,287.75.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.6 per cent to 3,740.54, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.5 per cent to 11,019.80.

Among industrial sectors, petroleum-linked equities were especially weak, as oil prices fell on demand concerns and as US President Joe Biden called for a three-month halt to the federal gas tax to address soaring fuel prices.

ExxonMobil and Chevron were both down more than four per cent. — AFP