The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 47 points Wednesday as markets fell slightly after starting the week of trading with gains. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
June 22 (UPI) -- U.S. markets fell slightly on Wednesday after rallying to start the week of trading a day earlier.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 47.12 points, or 0.15%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.13% and the Nasdaq Composite closed the day down 0.15%.
The Federal Reserve remained at the forefront of investors' focus Wednesday as Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy is "very strong and well positioned" in his semiannual update to Congress.
Markets posted losses last week after the central bank implemented a rare .75% interest rate hike as it tries to tackle record inflation.
Powell on Wednesday said the Fed remains "strongly committed to bring inflation back down and we're moving expeditiously to do so."
"We have both the tools we need and the resolve it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses," he said.
He said that the Fed expects to make more interest rate hikes with its target for inflation at 2%.
"Inflation remains the biggest risk to financial assets, and Jerome Powell has made his position abundantly clear: The Fed will continue to raise interest rates until inflation begins to wane," Robert Schein, chief investment officer of Blanke Schein Wealth Management wrote in a note. "Until then, a sustainable rally for risk assets is hard to imagine."
The price of bitcoin remained above $20,000 on Wednesday but dropped slightly from Tuesday's session after having fallen below $18,000 for the first time since 2020 over the weekend.
The 10-year treasury note yield dropped to below 3.2% on Wednesday.
Crude oil prices fell Wednesday with the international benchmark Brent crude dropping 2% to $112.41 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate -- the U.S. benchmark -- fell 2.2% to $107.02 per barrel.
The S&P 500's energy sector was the worst-performing on Wednesday, falling 2.5% and energy stocks on the S&P have declined nearly 20% since June 8.
Marathon Oil stock fell 7.23%, ConocoPhillips dropped 6.27%, ExxonMobil declined 3.96% and Occidental Petroleum slid 3.63%.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged a federal gas tax holiday for three months to save consumers 18 cents a gallon.