US STOCKS-S&P 500 closes higher in late session U-turn


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 (Updates to market close)
    By Stephen Culp
    NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street reversed its losses
late Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow reclaiming positive
territory by the close in a tug-of-war between stocks that
thrived amid lockdowns and those that stand to benefit most from
a reopening economy.
    The Nasdaq was the only major U.S. stock index to lose
ground on the day.
    Market-leading growth stocks, which thrived amid
pandemic-related lockdowns, weighed on stocks for much of the
day as investors favored shares that stand to gain most as
ongoing vaccine deployment allows economic restrictions to be
    "People are buying the dip, a move that's been rewarded for
months in a one-sided market," said Dennis Dick, head of market
structure and a proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC. 
    "It's tough to be a bear, it's really tough. The only fear
out there is the fear of missing out,” Dick said.
    Fed Chairman Jerome Powell pushed back against concerns that
the central bank's economic support increased the risk of
spiraling inflation, and insisted that the central bank's
accommodative monetary policy would remain in place for "some
    Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Powell said
the economic recovery was "uneven and far from complete," adding
that investors are mostly responding to an anticipated rebound
as vaccine deployment curbs the pandemic.*:nL1N2KT11N
    "Powell's primary objective appears to clearly be to support
economic growth, even at the potential expense of higher
inflation," said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox
Wealth Advisors in New York.
     Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  rose
13.75 points, or 0.04%, to 31,535.44, the S&P 500  .SPX  gained
4.85 points, or 0.13%, to 3,881.35 and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  dropped 67.85 points, or 0.5%, to 13,465.20. 
    Tesla Inc  TSLA.O  dropped due to falling bitcoin 
 BTC=BTSP . The electric car maker recently invested $1.5
billion in the cryptocurrency.*:nL8N2KT396
    Cryptocurrency miners Riot Blockchain Inc  RIOT.O  and
Marathon Patent Group Inc  MARA.O  plunged, as did bitcoin bank
Silvergate Capital Corp  SI.N .*:nL1N2KT09F
    Home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc  HD.N  posted
better-than-expected quarterly earnings. But it cast doubt on 
whether spiking sales, driven by homebound consumers taking on 
do-it-yourself projects amid COVID lockdowns, are sustainable
going forward. The stock fell, and was among the heaviest drags
on the Dow.
    Smaller rival Lowe's Companies Inc  LOW.N , expected to
report its results early Wednesday, also lost ground.

 (Reporting by Stephen Culp; Additional reporting by Herbert
Lash; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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