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S&P 500 ends as Apple falls and traders watch Powell’s speech

  • Investors look to Powell’s speech for interest rate clues
  • US consumer confidence falls in November
  • S&P 500 -0.16%, Nasdaq -0.59%, Dow +0.01%

Nov 29 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 ended lower on Tuesday, with losses in Apple and Amazon ahead of an upcoming speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that could hint at the scale of future rate hikes.

Investors also focused on recent COVID-19 curbside protests in China, including at the world’s largest iPhone factory.

Apple ( AAPL.O ) shares fell 2.1%, down for a fourth straight session.

Powell will speak at a Brookings Institution event on Wednesday about the outlook for the US economy and labor market. Investors will be looking for clues about when the Fed will slow the pace of its aggressive rate hikes.

“No one is willing to buy until tomorrow with Powell speaking. Everyone is nervous about what he’s going to say,” said Ron Saba, senior portfolio manager at Horizon Investments in Charlotte.

Shares of Amazon ( AMZN.O ), Nvidia ( NVDA.O ) and Tesla ( TSLA.O ) each lost more than 1%.

The benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) is headed for its second straight month of gains in November, amid bets that recent inflation readings showing a slight cooling in prices will lead the Fed to scale back rate hikes.

The Fed has delivered four straight rate hikes of 75 basis points, and is expected to slow down the pace to a 50 bps move in December. FEDWATCH

A survey on Tuesday showed that US consumer confidence slipped further in November amid lingering concerns about the rising cost of living.

A specialist trader works with his son during a traditional bring-the-kids-to-work day on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Mainland China’s latest wave of civil disobedience comes as the number of COVID cases hits record daily highs and large parts of several cities face new lockdowns, further threatening the world’s second-largest economy.

The S&P 500 energy sector index (.SPNY) rose 1.3%, while gains in oil prices on expectations of a loosening of China’s strict COVID controls were later offset by concerns that OPEC+ would keep output unchanged at the upcoming meeting.

The S&P 500 fell 0.16% to end the session at 3,957.60 points.

The Nasdaq fell 0.59% to 10,983.78 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.01% to 33,852.13 points.

Despite the S&P 500’s decline, it outnumbered the decliners (.AD.SPX) by a 1.3-to-one ratio.

The S&P 500 posted three new highs and two new lows; The Nasdaq registered 68 new highs and 183 new lows.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , Pinduoduo Inc ( PDD.O ) and Inc jumped more than 5% after China expanded equity financing channels for property developers.

Shares of Chinese internet firm Bilibili Inc rose 22% after posting positive quarterly results.

Volume on US exchanges was relatively light, with 9.6 billion shares traded, compared with an average of 11.2 billion shares over the previous 20 sessions.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Shounak Dasgupta

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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