The New York Stock Exchange was flat on Tuesday, as investors awaited a series of indicators that will enable them to assess when interest rates will begin to fall.

At the end of the morning, the Dow Jones was down 0.4% at 38,913.7 points, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced by almost 0.2% to 16,001.6 points, still supported by the semiconductor sector.

Initiatives remain limited ahead of a second half of the week that promises to be rich in economic indicators, including the PCE index, which could reveal on Thursday that inflationary pressures are proving more persistent than expected.

While the Federal Reserve has all but ruled out an interest rate cut at its next meeting in March, a lower-than-expected index could increase the likelihood of a rate cut in May.

The second estimate of US growth in Q4, due tomorrow, could also prove rich in lessons.

Should these figures be better than expected, this could delay the Fed's monetary easing, while if they were really bad, this could encourage the central bank to act quickly.

The start of the day was enlivened by second-rate statistics, but which did not paint a very reassuring picture of activity.

Orders for durable goods thus fell by 6.1% in January compared with December, following a sequential 0.3% decline in December 2023.

Excluding the usually erratic transportation sector, where orders plunged by 16.2% in January, US durable goods orders fell by just 0.3% last month.

On the consumer front, US household morale deteriorated sharply in February after three consecutive months of increases, according to the results of the Conference Board's monthly survey.

Worryingly, the sub-index measuring respondents' judgment of their future situation fell to 79.8 from 81.5 in January, bearing in mind that a figure below 80 is often a harbinger of a coming recession.

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