US: Stocks fall as market anxiously awaits Federal Reserve decision

WALL Street stocks retreated on Tuesday after mixed US economic data added to nervousness ahead of a major decision by the Federal Reserve.

A survey of manufacturers showed the sector barely in growth mode in October, with prices dropping for the first time in more than two years.

But that report was offset by Labor Department data showing a surge in open positions in September, surprising investors who have been expecting the jobs market to slow.

Markets rallied strongly in October, largely due to expectations that the Fed would soon pivot away from its very aggressive posture of fighting inflation.

"While we're always thrilled to see inflation moderating, we'd also like to see the jobs market softening," said Art Hogan, analyst at B. Riley Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.2 per cent at 32,653.20.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.4 per cent to 3,856.10, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.9 per cent to 10,890.85.

Among individual companies, Uber shot up 12 per cent after it reported a surge in quarterly revenue.

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi told analysts the company had not seen "any signs of consumer weakness."

Pfizer climbed 3.1 per cent as it reported higher quarterly profits while lifting its full-year forecast for coronavirus vaccine sales.

Abiomed surged almost 50 percent after announcing it agreed to be acquired by Johnson & Johnson in a deal valued at US$16.6 billion. Johnson & Johnson, which said the transaction would strengthen its cardiovascular capacities, dipped 0.5 per cent. AFP

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