U.S. stocks opened modestly lower Tuesday, with investors focusing on congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, without fresh developments on Sino-American tariff negotiations. Weakness in housing data and in quarterly results from Dow components Home Depot Inc. HD, -2.52% and Caterpillar Inc. CAT, -2.53% also weighed on markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.21% fell 106 points, or 0.4%, at 25,985, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.04% declined 0.2% at 2,789, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.09% retreated by 0.4% to 7,525. In corporate news, Tesla Inc. TSLA, -1.09% shares were in focus after the Securities and Exchange Commission asked a judge to hold the CEO of the electric-car maker, Elon Musk, in contempt of an earlier ruling. Home Depot shares fell after the home-improvement giant reported quarterly results that were weaker than consensus expectations. Caterpillar shares were under pressure after being downgraded to sell from buy by UBS. On the economic front, the number of new homes under construction fell in December to an annual rate of 1.08 million, from 1.21 million rate in November, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That’s the lowest level since 2016.
U.S. stocks retreat Tuesday as investors digest weaker-than-expected earnings from Home Depot Inc., and awaited start of two days of semiannual testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
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