The US markets ended choppy trading session slightly in red on Tuesday as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. Traders took a wait-and-see approach even though the Fed is widely expected to cut interest rates by another quarter point. Some pessimism came amid report suggesting a phase one trade deal between the US and China may not be signed by a summit in Chile next month. A US administration official noted a failure to sign the deal by the summit just means more time is needed. A mixed reaction to the latest batch of earnings news also contributed to the lackluster performance, with a notable drop by Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) weighing on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Alphabet reported third quarter earnings that missed street estimates.
On the economic front, the Conference Board released a report showing consumer confidence unexpectedly edged lower in the month of October, although the drop came from an upwardly revised level in the previous month. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index dipped to 125.9 in October from an upwardly revised 126.3 in September. Street had expected the consumer confidence index to climb to 128.5 in October from the 125.1 originally reported for the previous month. Meanwhile, a separate report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Tuesday showed another significant increase in pending home sales in the US in the month of September. NAR said its pending home sales surged up by 1.5 percent 108.7 in September after spiking by 1.4 percent to a revised 107.1 August. Street had expected pending home sales to climb by 0.9 percent.
Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 19.30 points or 0.07 percent to 27071.42, Nasdaq lost 49.13 points or 0.59 percent to 8276.85 and S&P 500 was down by 2.53 points or 0.08 percent to 3036.89.