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Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes mostly lower on trade-talk news

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, eight closed in the red, with utilities and financials registering the biggest percentage drops.

Overnight Markets: Wall Street closes mostly lower on trade-talk news

Wall Street closed mostly lower on Tuesday as optimism over expectation of a dovish policy stance by the Federal Reserve was offset by a pair of conflicting reports on US-China trade talks.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27 points, or 0.1%, to 25,887, the S&P 500 closed flat at 2,833 and the Nasdaq Composite rose nine points, or 0.12%, to 7,724.

All the three major US stock indexes gave up early gains following a Bloomberg report that China is pushing back against American demands in trade talks.

As the Fed convened its two-day policy meeting, investors expected little change in its measured approach to interest rate hikes. But focus will remain on remarks by Chairman Jerome Powell at his news conference and policy makers’ forecasts of future rate moves.

In economic news, new orders for American-made goods gained 0.1% in January, the Commerce Department reported.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, eight closed in the red, with utilities and financials registering the biggest percentage drops.

Online food delivery platform Grubhub Inc fell 8.4% after Keybanc warned of diminished customer spending and user retention.

Ford Motor Co shares added 1.5% after the automaker announced it would boost US production of its high-profit SUVs.

Nvidia Corp ended the session up 4.0% after the company announced that Amazon.com Inc. would now be using its T4 data-center chips.

The chipmaker provided the biggest boost to the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index.

Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. rose 0.3% after Raymond James analyst James Freeman raised his target price on the stock from $4 to $4.50.

Shares of Michaels Cos. surged 8.5%, after the arts-and-crafts retailer reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that surpassed Wall Street expectations.

In Asia, shares traded cautiously on Monday in morning session following a series of conflicting reports on US-China trade that surfaced overnight.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.19%, while the Topix index shed 0.13%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.7%. In Australia, the ASX 200 recovered from earlier losses to trade largely flat.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index erased earlier gains to trade flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.39%.

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