S&P 500 closes as Apple drops and traders watch Powell’s speech

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The S&P 500 ended lower on Tuesday, with losses at Apple and Amazon ahead of an upcoming speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that could provide clues about the scale of future interest rate hikes.

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

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Apple shares fell for a fourth consecutive session.

Powell is scheduled to speak Wednesday at a Brookings Institution event on the outlook for the U.S. economy and labor market. Investors will be looking for clues as to when the Fed will slow the pace of its aggressive interest rate hikes.

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« No one is ready 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, Alphabet and Tesla each lost ground.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is heading for its second consecutive month of gains in November amid bets that recent inflation readings showing a slight cooling in prices will lead the Fed to scale back the magnitude of its interest rate hikes. ‘interest.

The Fed has made four consecutive rate hikes of 75 basis points, and it is expected to slow the pace to 50 basis points in December.

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

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The recent wave of civil disobedience in mainland China comes as the number of COVID cases hit daily records and large parts of several cities face new lockdowns, further threatening the world’s second-largest economy.

The energy sector’s S&P 500 index rallied as gains in oil prices on expectations of an easing of strict COVID controls in China were later offset by fears that OPEC+ would hold its production unchanged at its next meeting.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 fell 6.82 points, or 0.17%, to end at 3,957.12 points, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 65.64 points, or 0.59%, to 10 983.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.94 points, or 0.01%, to 33,847.52.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Pinduoduo Inc and JD.com Inc jumped after China expanded equity financing channels for property developers.

Shares of Chinese internet company Bilibili Inc soared after posting upbeat quarterly results. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru and Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Shounak Dasgupta)


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