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Tech Down, But Pares Losses After Powell Testimony -- Tech Roundup

02/23/2021 | 05:27pm

Shares of technology companies plummeted at the open but pared losses later in the session after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated the central bank would maintain extraordinary levels of monetary stimulus near current levels.

The Nasdaq Composite was down roughly 3% at one stage before Mr. Powell reassured markets that the central bank was not concerned about inflation or considering any changes to its highly accommodative policy.

The price of cryptocurrencies, including that of the largest, bitcoin, fell as speculative fervor cooled. Bitcoin had shot over $57,000 at its peak less than a week ago and now trades around $47,000. Even at that level, the digital currency has roughly quadrupled in the space of six months as institutional investors buy into the trend.

Shares of electric-car maker Tesla, which has made a substantial bet on bitcoin, tumbled at the open, losing roughly 10% of their value at one stage and dropping below the level at which the stock traded when it was added to the Standard & Poor's 500, before rebounding late in the session. Analysts at one brokerage said "The market narrative remains one of stocks moving modestly higher based on high hopes of a quick post-pandemic recovery, another round of fiscal stimulus, and supportive monetary policy by the Fed," said analysts at Piper Sandler, in a note to clients.

Device and software sales are expected to drive government information-technology spending up by 5.1% this year, according to research firm Gartner.

 Write to Rob Curran at 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-23-21 1726ET

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