Dow skids more than 400 points and stock market losses deepen as Fed’s Powell says faster taper may be warranted amid omicron


U.S. stocks saw losses sharpen late-morning Tuesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested that a more rapid tightening of financial conditions may be warranted as the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 complicates the economic recovery and potentially intensifies supply-chain bottlenecks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.63% was down 450 points, or 1.3%, at 34,694, the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.59% was trading 1.2% lower at 4,597, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.65% was trading 1.3% lower at 15,583. During Tuesday’s testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee as a part of the CARES act, Powell said that risk of persistent inflation has risen and said that the central bank may need to speed up its reduction of asset-purchases, which could set the table for faster interest-rate increases by the Fed, potentially bearish for risky assets in the short term.

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