S&P 500 dips as chip stocks and utilities tumble
By Noel Randewich (Reuters) - The S&P 500 fell on Tuesday as chipmakers were dented by ratings downgrades and utilities declined ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike, offsetting a boost from the energy sector. S&P 500 financials , including interest-rate-sensitive bank stocks , dipped 0.38 percent ahead of the expected rise in interest rates by the Fed on Wednesday
By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 fell on Tuesday as chipmakers were dented by ratings downgrades and utilities declined ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike, offsetting a boost from the energy sector.
S&P 500 financials <.SPSY>, including interest-rate-sensitive bank stocks <.BKX>, dipped 0.38 percent ahead of the expected rise in interest rates by the Fed on Wednesday. Utilities, which tend to be favoured in low-rate environments because of their solid dividend payments, <.SPLRCU> slid 1.22 percent
The S&P 500 energy index <.SPNY> added 0.57 percent as Brent oil hit a four-year high, boosted by imminent U.S. sanctions on Iranian exports, and OPEC and Russia's reluctance to raise output.
U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in September, bringing it closer to levels last seen in 2000, the Conference Board said, underscoring strength in the labour market and the overall economy.
The data pushed the S&P 500 consumer discretionary index <.SPLRCD> up 0.59 percent.
"A lot of the noise around trade and anything else around politics really hasn't suppressed consumer confidence nearly to the degree that the other factors have boosted it," said Mike Dowdall, investment strategist for BMO Global Asset Management, in Chicago.
The Philadelphia semiconductor index <.SOX> dropped 1.70 percent, weighing on the S&P 500 technology index <.SPLRCT>, after brokerages Raymond James and KeyBanc cut their ratings on a number of chipmakers. Intel
Buoyed by strong economic growth and deep corporate tax cuts, the S&P 500 has gained 9 percent so far in 2018. But five of the S&P 500 sector indexes are down year to date, including the consumer staples index <.SPLRCS>, down 5.6 percent. Consumer staples <.SPLRCS> on Tuesday lost 0.73 percent. The other six are higher, led by the technology index's <.SPLRCT> 19 percent rally.
"There are different stories for different sectors, it's a finicky little market," said Dennis Dick, a proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC. "If you're a money manager, you have to be very careful about what you're buying."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 0.26 percent to end at 26,492.21 points, and the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 0.13 percent to 2,915.56.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> rose 0.18 percent to 8,007.47. Amazon.com Inc
In extended trade, Nike Inc
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.20-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.00-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 65 new highs and 54 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.6 billion shares, just below the 6.7 billion average over the last 20 trading days.
(Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Leslie Adler)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.