US stocks flat amid tech slide, Treasury yields climb

Wall Street closed mostly flat on Tuesday with a decline in tech shares weighing on stocks, as investors await updates on stimulus measures from major central banks in the coming days. The S&P 500 closed fractionally higher, erasing earlier losses in the final minutes of trading, as the tech sector fell 0.5 per cent and energy shares jumped 1.3 per cent Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite ticked about three points lower. Robust gains for Boeing and Caterpillar helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average notch a 0.3 per cent rise.

The decline in tech comes as investors reacted to Apple’s annual hardware event on Tuesday, where the company revealed details of its latest iPhone models and its upcoming TV+ streaming video service. Apple was up 1.2 per cent, but shares in Netflix and Roku suffered in response to a cheaper-than-expected price point for TV+. Investors sold off US government debt, sending yields higher. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was up 11.8 basis points at 1.7402 per cent. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Stoxx 600 was up 0.1 per cent, the Xetra Dax was up 0.4 per cent, and the CAC 40 advanced 0.1 per cent. The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates and detail plans for stimulus measures when it concludes its meeting on Thursday. Next week, investors expect the Federal Reserve to deliver a 25 basis-point rate cut at its monetary policy meeting. In the UK, Boris Johnson lost his second attempt to hold a snap general election to break Britain’s Brexit impasse. While the prime minister has vowed not to delay Brexit beyond October 31, the anti-no-deal legislation agreed by parliament received royal assent from the Queen at her Balmoral castle retreat in Scotland on Monday. Sterling fluctuated and recently rose modestly to $1.2355, while the FTSE 100 close with a 0.4 per cent gain.