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Wall Street closes slightly higher after four days of selling

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By Sinéad Carew and Sruthi Shankar

(RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Wall Street finished slightly higher on Tuesday after four sessions of declines, but investors worried about weak holiday buying and rising bond yields added pressure after the Bank of China’s surprise monetary policy change. Japan (BoJ).

Fears about the Federal Reserve’s plan to continue raising US interest rates have weighed heavily on equities since last week’s policy meeting.

Adding pressure was a rise in US Treasury yields after the BOJ made a surprise change to its bond yield control that allows long-term interest rates to rise further.

“The Bank of Japan news has moved the bond market and continues to have an impact,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer, Independent Advisor Alliance, Charlotte, NC.

Investors were also concerned about the current quarter’s earnings season and winter holiday buying.

“We went in with pretty reasonable expectations, but retailers need to sell massively,” said Carol Schleif, deputy chief investment officer, BMO family office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, noting that consumers this year are veering toward “services and events: holiday tickets and gift certificates to restaurants and things like that, as opposed to another sweater or another bag”.

Schleif noted that investors are cautious after a volatile year in stocks with the S&P on track for its biggest annual decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

“People have been getting head over heels all year and they’re not sure enough to want to intervene,” she said.

“That’s what leads to this kind of push-and-pull market where it’s a little bit up a little bit down and it’s really hard for any segment of the investing public to want to get to want to spin a narrative that they would put a lot of of money behind.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 92.2 points, or 0.28%, to 32,849.74, the S&P 500 gained 3.96 points, or 0.10%, to 3,821.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.08 points, or 0.01%, to 10,547.11.

Among the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, the energy index gained the most, finishing up 1.52% as crude prices rose. [O/R]

Of the four sectors that declined, Consumer Discretionary was the weakest, finishing down 1.13%.

The Dow Jones Transport Average closed 1.3% lower after underperforming the broader market throughout the session following JPMorgan’s bearish research on transportation companies.

FedEx Corp closed down 2.6% on its quarterly report. But shares of the delivery company, which spooked the entire market in September by pulling its financial forecasts, were up more than 3% in volatility after bell trading following its second-quarter fiscal report and indications for 2023.

In fixed income, US Treasury prices fell after the BOJ’s shock move, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rising to a three-week high of 3.71%. [US/]

Also on Tuesday, data showed US single-family home construction plummeted to a 2.5-year low in November and future building permits tumbled as higher mortgage rates continued to depress market activity real estate.

Shares of General Mills Inc tumbled 4.6% after quarterly sales of its high-margin pet business took a hit as major retailers cut inventories, overshadowing an earnings surge for the full year and sales forecasts.

Shares of Tesla Inc plunged 8% after at least three brokerages cut the EV maker’s price target amid growing concerns over weak demand and risk stemming from Chief Executive Elon Musk’s struggles on Twitter.

Wells Fargo & Co slipped 2% after US regulators fined the lender $3.7 billion, citing widespread mismanagement of auto loans, mortgages and savings accounts.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining issues on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.12 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.06 to 1 favored the advanced.

The S&P 500 posted 1 new 52-week high and 14 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 64 new highs and 399 new lows.

10.52 billion shares changed hands on the US stock exchanges, against the 11.15 billion average of the last 20 trading days.

(Reporting by Shubham Batra, Johann M Cherian and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel, Anil D’Silva and David Gregorio)