A massive selloff on Wall Street reversed after Powell's comments on Tuesday.
- The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out modest gains after falling steeply at the start of Tuesday's trading session. The S&P ended up 0.13 percent and the Dow closed up 0.05, while the NASDAQ remained in negative territory.
- Powell spoke on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee. In his remarks, he said: “To the extent there is downward pressure on that because of, for example, the Treasury General Account shrinking in size, we have tools we can use to keep that rate in our intended policy range, and we will do that. That should also limit the extent to which other money market instruments go even lower or perhaps negative.” His remarks prompted an almost instant reversal in the stock selloff that began earlier in the trading session.
- Despite the recent stock selloffs, most analysts remain optimistic that the global economic recovery will continue as COVID-19 cases continue to decline. Still, Asian stocks were broadly lower on Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei 225 slumping 1.61 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index down over 3 percent on lingering concerns about the recovery process.
- The US Dollar Index was lower during Wednesday's Asian session as the greenback continued to slide against the British pound and the euro.
- The global number of coronavirus cases sat at 112,680,152 as of Wednesday morning, with nearly 2.5 million deaths.
- The number of new daily cases continues to decline from January peaks thanks to vaccination drives and immunity for those who have already recovered from the virus.