(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click or type LIVE/ in a news window)
Investors look to Powell speech for interest rate clues
U.S. consumer confidence slips in November
Nov 29 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended down on Tuesday,
with losses in Apple and Amazon ahead of an upcoming speech by
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that could provide
hints about magnitude of future interest rate hikes.
Investors also focused on recent protests against COVID-19
curbs in China, including at the world's biggest iPhone factory.
Apple's stock dropped for a fourth straight
Powell is due to speak at a Brookings Institution event on
Wednesday about the outlook for the U.S. economy and the labor
market. Investors will be looking for clues about when the Fed
will slow the pace of its aggressive interest rate hikes.
"No one is willing to buy ahead of tomorrow with Powell
speaking. Everyone is nervous about what he is going to say,"
said Ron Saba, senior portfolio manager at Horizon Investments
Shares of Amazon, Alphabet and Tesla
each lost ground.
The benchmark S&P 500 index 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 the scale of its interest rate hikes.
The Fed has delivered four straight 75 basis point rate
hikes, and it is expected to shift down the pace to a 50-bps
move in December.
A survey on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence eased
further in November amid persistent worries about the rising
cost of living.
Mainland China's recent wave of civil disobedience comes as
the number of COVID cases hit 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 rallied, 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 its output unchanged at its upcoming meeting.
According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 lost 6.82
points, or 0.17%, to end at 3,957.12 points, while the Nasdaq
Composite lost 65.64 points, or 0.59%, to 10,983.86. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.94 points, or 0.01%,
U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies Alibaba Group
Holding Ltd, Pinduoduo Inc and JD.com Inc
jumped after China broadened equity financing channels
for property developers.
Shares of Chinese internet firm Bilibili Inc soared
after posting upbeat quarterly results.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru
and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Marguerita
Choy and Shounak Dasgupta)