by Sinéad Carew and Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange ended slightly higher on Tuesday, ending a four-session losing streak as investors weighed a number of factors, including disappointing Christmas shopping and a surprise decision by the Bank of Japan to ease its ultra-accommodative monetary policy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.28% or 92.20 points to 32,849.74 points.
The broader S&P-500 rose 3.96 points, or 0.10%, to 3,821.62.
The Nasdaq Composite rose by 1.08 points (0.01%) to 10,547.11 points.
Fears that repeated rate hikes could push the US economy into recession had weighed on major Wall Street indexes since the Federal Reserve (Fed) took a stance last Wednesday after its policy meeting.
Adding to these concerns, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) surprised by announcing during the day that it adjusted its monetary instruments by widening the fluctuation band for ten-year government bond yields, a move aimed at mitigating the impact of its ultra – accommodative monetary policy.
Along with uncertainty about the strength of fourth-quarter results, investors have been concerned about holiday shopping trends, said Carol Schleif, vice president of investments at BMO in Minneapolis, Minn.
“We came in with pretty reasonable expectations, but retailers have to sell massively,” she said, noting that consumers were turning more toward services — travel and restaurant gift cards — than buying. “another sweater or bag”.
Investors, Carol Schleif added, remain cautious after a year marked by volatility on Wall Street, whose major indexes are headed for their first annual decline since the 2008 financial crisis.
The yield on 10-year US Treasuries rose to a three-week high of 3.71% in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s decision.
Economic data released Tuesday showed that construction of new homes in the United States fell in November to a two-and-a-half-year low, while applications for permits fell as rising lending rates weighed on real estate activity.
Among the eleven major sectors in the S&P-500, the energy sector was the best performer, rising 1.52% on the back of higher oil prices. Four sectors ended in min.
On the stock side, Tesla fell 8% after at least three brokerages cut its price target amid growing concerns over weak demand and unease over the company’s takeover.Boss Elon Musk on Twitter.
(French version Jean Terzian)
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