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Market Pulse: Nasdaq Composite ends 1.6% lower, leading stock market losses Thursday as inflation, Ukraine crisis

U.S. stocks finished lower on Thursday, with the information technology sector, taking the brunt of the session’s losses as investors navigated headlines related to the Eastern European military conflict and a monetary policy shifts.

The Nasdaq Composite Index

declined 214 points, or 1.6%, at 13,538, on a preliminary basis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed down 96 points, or 0.3%, to 33,795.

The S&P 500 index

finished the session off 23 points, or 0.5%, to reach about 4,364.

The 10-year Treasury note

yields declined 1.9 basis points to points to 1.843%.

Markets have proved persistently unsettled as investors pore over developments between Russia and Ukraine and wrestle with the economic outlook against the backdrop of higher rates and perkier inflation.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, in his second day of congressional testimony, told the Senate Banking Committee that the economy was in a sensitive phase.

“In this very sensitive time at the moment, it’s important for us to be careful in the way we conduct policy simply because things are so uncertain and we don’t want to add to that uncertainty,” he told Senate lawmakers on Thursday.

On Wednesday, markets were buoyed by Powell’s comments about interest-rate increases and latest geopolitical developments. He said on Wednesday, and reiterated on Thursday, that he would propose a quarter-percentage-point interest-rate increase at the central bank’s meeting in two weeks, which was in line with market-base expectations, quelling some fears about a more aggressive policy position.

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