Wall Street slightly lower as UK vote, Comey testimony loom

U.S. stocks were slightly lower in early afternoon trading on Tuesday as investors shunned riskier assets ahead of what is expected to be a busy Thursday, when Britain goes to the polls and former FBI director James Comey testifies before Congress.

Comey, who was investigating a possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 U.S. election, was fired in May.

His testimony could dampen already flagging momentum for Trump’s legislative agenda of rolling back healthcare reforms and overhauling the tax code.

Investors will also watch out for the European Central Bank’s meet, where policymakers are expected to take a more benign view of the economy, according to sources.

“We have a relatively light week in terms of economic data and investors are awaiting Thursday’s events,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) in Austin, Texas.

“The market’s reaction to Comey’s testimony would depend on if he says something new that nobody knows about, although, a lot of what he might be asked could be classified information.”

Safe havens were in favor, with gold <xau=>touching its highest in about seven weeks and U.S. 10-year Treasury yields falling to their lowest levels since the days following the November election.

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