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US: Dow, S&P 500 dip as markets eye Federal Reserve, trade talks

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished little changed on Tuesday following conflicting reports on US-China trade talks and as the Federal Reserve began a two-day monetary policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.1 per cent at 25,887.38, snapping a four-day winning streak.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost less than 0.1 per cent at 2,832.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.1 per cent to 7,723.95.

Stocks spent much of the day solidly positive but weakened following a Bloomberg report that described tensions between the United States and China on trade terms that could pose problems for a broad agreement.

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US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will return to Beijing next week to resume talks, a senior administration official told AFP on Tuesday.

Briefing.com said the China trade headlines "induced some profit-taking" in the latter part of the session.

Nate Thooft, senior managing director at Manulife Investments, said equities were also primed for a pullback after rallying last week ahead of Wednesday's Fed decision.

"People are starting to realize the Fed can't be more dovish than how it has already been," Mr Thooft said.

The US central bank is expected to keep interest rates unchanged and could signal it anticipates fewer interest rate hikes in 2019.

Among individual companies, chip company Advanced Micro Devices surged 11.8 per cent after Alphabet's Google said its new streaming videogame service would employ the company's technology.

AFP