Investing.com – The Dow moved off its lows on Tuesday, after notching its biggest one-day gain in over month a day earlier, as investors digested mixed quarterly earnings from corporates and supportive remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Just days after suggesting the Fed had plenty of ammunition left to support the economy through the pandemic, Powell reiterated the central bank’s supportive stance on monetary policy.
“We are committed to using our full range of tools to support the economy in this challenging time even as we recognize that these actions are only a part of a broader public-sector response,” Powell said Tuesday in remarks to the Senate Banking Committee.
Powell also said he expected the Fed would roll out its Main Street lending and other programs by the end of the month.
Mnuchin, meanwhile, said he expected the economy to recover in the third or fourth quarter and floated the idea of middle-class tax cuts.
On the earnings front, investors had to contend with mixed quarterly results from corporates.
Shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) gave up gains to trade flat despite posting quarterly results that topped analysts;’ estimates. The beat was driven a 74% surge in U.S. e-commerce sales in the first quarter, as coronavirus-led stockpiling of groceries and household goods bolstered growth.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) slipped more than 2% after the home-improvement retailer reported profits that missed analysts’ forecasts.
Department store chain Kohls (NYSE:KSS) fell 8.5% after reporting a wider-than-expected loss and revenue that fell short of expectations in the first quarter.
Energy stocks fell more than 1%, and weighed on the broader market as oil prices gave up gains despite growing optimism for a recovery in crude demand.
Healthcare, meanwhile, came under pressure, paced by a fall in Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) after the biotech company announced a secondary stock offering that would raise more than $1 billion.
Moderna had rallied 20% a day earlier after announcing positive early-stage clinical results for its potential Covid-19 vaccine.
On the economic front, U.S. housing starts plunged to a record 30.2% in April, pressuring the annual pace down from 1.276 million, revised higher from 1.216 million, to 891 million, the weakest pace since Feb. 2015, according to Jefferies (NYSE:JEF).