US stocks dip as Tesla falls on latest Musk controversy

(AFP pic)

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks dipped early Tuesday ahead of a congressional appearance by the Federal Reserve chief and as Tesla retreated on CEO Elon Musk’s latest clash with US regulators.

About 12 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 25,995.96, down 0.4%.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to 2,792.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.2% to 7,542.39.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is set for two days of congressional hearings at which he will update lawmakers on the economic outlook and the prospects for further interest rate changes. The appearances come on the heels of several dovish statements by Powell that have bolstered stocks early in 2019.

“If the market reacts strongly to the Fed chair’s testimony today, it will be because Mr Powell said something negative to upset the market’s prevailing view on the policy outlook,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare.

Tesla Motors fell 2.5% after the US Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal judge to declare Musk in contempt of court after a series of tweets by Musk that the agency said violated a prior settlement.

Dow member Home Depot shed 3.2% as it projected slightly lower 2019 sales growth compared with last year.