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US: Dow ends up, Nasdaq lower after choppy session


[NEW YORK] The Dow and S&P 500 finished higher on Tuesday, but the tech-rich Nasdaq fell for the sixth straight day following a choppy session for US stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 47.24 points (0.30 per cent) at 16,049.13.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.32 (0.12 per cent) to 1,884.09, but the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 26.65 (0.59 per cent) to 4,517.32.

US stocks had their strongest gains of the day after the Conference Board reported that the US consumer confidence index rose to 103.0, besting expectations for a sharp drop.

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But trade was volatile thereafter, leaving the Nasdaq lower amid lingering anxiety over global growth and US monetary policy.

Several big technology stocks fell, including Apple (-3.0 per cent), Amazon (-1.6 per cent), Facebook (-2.9 per cent) and Netflix (-1.1 per cent).

But many biotech stocks enjoyed a positive session after suffering declines over the last week. Amgen rose 1.2 per cent, Gilead Sciences 1.3 per cent and Biogen 2.2 per cent.

Yahoo advanced 2.4 per cent on news it will still seek a sale of its Alibaba holdings. The technology company said it would pursue the transaction despite not getting a guarantee that US tax officials would permit the transaction to qualify as tax-free.

Dow member McDonald's rose 1.6 per cent following an upgrade from Credit Suisse, which said the fast-food giant's sales outlook is starting to improve after a run of disappointing results.

Dow member Johnson & Johnson advanced 1.8 per cent following an upgrade from Deutsche Bank, which predicted strong growth ahead for its pharmaceutical business.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.06 per cent from 2.10 per cent Monday, while the 30-year dipped to 2.86 per cent from 2.88 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.