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Markets slump ahead of Powell testimony

Markets slump ahead of Powell testimony
© Greg Nash

Stock markets opened to losses on Monday, continuing a drop from record highs earlier in the month, as investors prepared for testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 175 points, or 0.6 percent, and the S&P 500 opened down 25 points, or 0.7 percent.

By close, the Dow had recovered its losses, closing up 29 points, or 0.1 percent, while the S&P closed down 30 points, or 0.8 percent.

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Powell is slated to deliver his twice-yearly update on the economy to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

Traders will be listening closely for signs about the central bank's monetary policy plans, specifically whether recent moves in the economy are shaking its commitment to keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Congress is moving to advance a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill along party lines. The House Budget Committee is scheduled to mark up the legislation Monday, sending it to the floor for a vote at the end of the week.

Updated at 4:01 p.m.