U.S. stocks finish lower after volatile session

U.S. stocks finished slightly lower on Wednesday after erasing their gains from earlier in the day during the final hour of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 48.37 points, or 0.2%, lower at 30,481.80 after the Dow climbed more than 240 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 closed 4.95 points lower, or 0.1%, at 3,759.84. The Nasdaq Composite finished down 16.22 points, or 0.2%, at 11,053. U.S. Stocks rose earlier in the session after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s commitment to battling inflation, while insisting that the Fed’s most aggressive monetary tightening since the 1980s wouldn’t derail the U.S. economy. However, a sharp drop in U.S. crude oil prices hammered energy stocks, driving the energy sector to the worst performance among the S&P 500’s 11 sectors. Investors had been watching to see if U.S. stocks might clinch back-to-back gains on Wednesday after Tuesday’s sharp rally, which followed last week’s Fed-inspired blowup.

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