US stocks close mixed on rate outlook

Wall Street stocks were mixed on Wednesday, with tech shares falling again, as investors reassess equity bets in the expectation of higher interest rates.

“It’s just a case of seeing interest rates are moving up and you’re seeing some of the air come out of high multiple stocks,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare.

The movement follows a jump in US Treasury yields after the Federal Reserve signalled a plan to taper its bond-buying stimulus later this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a 0.3 percent gain at 34,390.72, and the broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 4,359.46.

But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent to close at 14,512.44.

The mixed session came on the heels of deep losses on Tuesday, when investors were also troubled by disappointing US consumer confidence data and partisan disagreement over lifting the US debt ceiling and averting a government shutdown.

O’Hare said the jump in US Treasury bond yields over the last two weeks has prompted investors to recalibrate investments at a time when they are also rejiggering portfolios just before the end of the third quarter.

Among individual companies, Micron Technology dropped 2.0 percent due to disappointment over the chip company’s outlook. Analysts pointed to worries about product shortages that are denting demand for Micron products. (AFP)