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Wall Street flat as energy stocks limit declines in growth shares

By Ankika Biswas and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were little changed on Tuesday as growth stocks extended losses, while a rise in energy shares on the back of higher oil prices helped stave off declines.

Five of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes were trading higher, with energy up 1.6% as crude prices jumped amid expectations that OPEC+ would agree to cut oil output during its December meeting.

Still, trading remained in a narrow range, with market participants also shifting focus to recent protests in China amid hopes that it could lead to a quicker easing of COVID-19 curbs by its government.

"China is a mixed picture because the protests create uncertainty, but at the same time, could be a catalyst for eventually a loosening in COVID policy," said Carl Ludwigson, managing director at Bel Air.

Early gains in growth stocks proved short-lived, while U.S. Treasury yields rose. Investors also sold Treasuries as they anticipate details about Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)'s highly anticipated multi-tranche corporate bond deal.

Shares of Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Inc and Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) were down between 0.2% and 0.7%.

"We've got a reasonably strong rally into the fourth quarter. It's an opportunity perhaps to add to fixed income, which is more likely to do its job next year than it did this year, as the problem goes from inflation to economic growth," Ludwigson said.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is now headed for its second straight month of gains in November amid hopes of the U.S. Federal Reserve hiking interest rates in smaller increments and a handful of inflation readings showing a slight cooling in prices.

So far, the Fed has delivered four straight 75 basis point rate hikes, but is expected to shift down the pace to a 50-bps move in December. [FEDWATCH]

A survey on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence eased further in November amid persistent worries about the rising cost of living.

At 10:25 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.64 points, or 0.01%, at 33,846.82, the S&P 500 was up 4.29 points, or 0.11%, at 3,968.23, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 14.04 points, or 0.13%, at 11,063.54.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding Ltd, Pinduoduo (NASDAQ:PDD) Inc and JD (NASDAQ:JD).com Inc rose between 5.7% and 8.9% as China broadened equity financing channels for property developers. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.68-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 34 new highs and 77 new lows.


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