US STOCKS ended with losses again on Tuesday, part of a downward trend set in motion by Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell, who last week warned there would be no respite from interest rate hikes.
Those comments were echoed Tuesday by New York Fed Bank President John Williams, who said it will take "a few years" to bring soaring inflation back down to the Fed's 2 per cent target.
Powell has warned of "pain" ahead for Americans in the battle against rising prices, and doused any hopes Friday the central bank would lower interest rates anytime soon.
The third consecutive tumble in equities comes as American consumers indicated they were much happier about the state of the economy in August, with the consumer confidence index jumping nearly eight points to 103.2 from 95.3 in July, according to The Conference Board's monthly survey.
New data from the Labor Department meanwhile showed that job openings rebounded slightly in July, a sign of a still-strong labour market.
The all-important August employment report is due out on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.0 per cent to finish the day at 31,790.87.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.1 per cent to close at 3,986.16, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 1.1 per cent to 11,883.14.
In individual stocks, Chinese search engine Baidu was down 6.5 per cent after reporting falling revenue in the last quarter. And shares of electric vehicle maker Nikola plummeted 9.4 per cent on news it may issue up to $400 million in new shares. AFP